Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Christmas Gift Boxes and WOYWW

 The Christmas preparations are done - the last of the cards and tags have been made and presents posted, and I've just finished two little gift boxes for my brother-in-law and nephew.   Now I just have to remember to put the gift card and cash in them, or that could be embarrassing!

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

I hope you all have a happy, safe and creative festive season, and here's hoping 2021 will be a kinder year to us all.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

My Untidy Desk and WOYWW

 You'd think, wouldn't you, that having shielded since March and been in one long lock down that I'd be sitting here in a beautifully organised and freshly decorated home, with a large pile of hand made cards written and ready to post and all the Christmas presents wrapped?  Well you couldn't be more wrong - I'm making and posting about 4 cards a day and I'm still waiting for presents to arrive from on line shopping so I can wrap them and post them out to people.  I haven't even started on tags yet and the house is a tip - although that doesn't really matter as we won't be having any visitors!

Here's a shot of my desk that you won't normally see - the white tablecloth has gone and it's covered in clutter!  I've had some orders for bobbins which need to be painted, varnished and spangled (beaded), hence a tin of varnish, 2 boxes of beads and a cup of ready-made spangles, plus painting and card making equipment.  What a mess - I find it stressful working in such a small space but for once I really can't keep putting stuff away between tasks- those bead boxes are far too heavy for a start!

 I'm joining in with Julia over at WOYWW this week.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Christmas Clock

This little Christmas scene has been a long time in the making, and for yet another year I've brought it out and sat it on my desk in the hope I'll finish it this winter!  
It started life as a clock from a charity shop, I emptied it's internal organs out and
filled it with Grit Paste and Christmassy things.  I've pretty much finished it now, just one or two little things to add as the background is rather bare and I need to work out how to illuminate the inside as it's rather dark in there. 


I am joining in Julia over at WOYWW.
I enjoyed seeing so many of you at the evening Zoom meeting on Saturday - it was great to put faces to names!  A big thank you to Julia for organizing it.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Crackle Paste and WOYWW 600

Wow, it's WOYWW 600th anniversary - what an achievement!
A huge Thank You and a massive Congratulations to Julia for bringing us all together and creating such a friendly, kind and supportive community each week.

 I'm trying not to let the side down but this is the sum total of what I have done this week - using crackle paste that didn't crackle, inks and Glossy Accents.
I was planning on doing a lot more but other situations have arisen and taken up my time, however I decided to photograph it anyway as I could hardly not join in on the 600th episode could I!

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Cross Stitch Needle Case

 I've been so inspired by the beautiful cross stitch being done by Shoshi and Lunch Lady Jan that I decided to give it a go.  I've attempted a small needle case, which is intended as a gift despite the inside being a bit of a bodge job!  I kept trimming up the wonky felt pages and they kept getting smaller and smaller - so I edged them in running stitch to make them look like they should be like that!
I copied the pattern from a design on Pinterest and tweaked it a little while working it - a good tip is to tweak it first on paper as it saves a lot of unpicking!  

I'm joining in with Julia over at WOYWW this week

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Autumn Bobbins

 This is my desk about 10 minutes ago!  
I'm struggling to be productive and the only thing on it is one freshly painted bobbin.  I have three others hanging in the window with the varnish drying and that is the sum total of my creativity recently. I think it's a case of the lock down doldrums!

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

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

A Painted Birthday Card

After trying out some ideas and getting some water colour practice in,  I have at last finished a birthday card for my sister.  I'm pleased to have finally turned out a card that doesn't have any unintended splodges, smudges or finger prints on it!  That's why I don't do CAS cards! 

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

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Autumn Watercolours and WOYWW

 I've been trying out some water colour ideas for a special birthday card this week.
  I was rather hoping to have finished it by now,
but coming up with something I'm completely happy with is proving to be quite elusive - fingers crossed I have something finished by next week!

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

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Start of the Birthday Card Season!

 It's that time of year again - most of my family and friends have birthdays in October, so here is the first one I made for my nephew who has just turned 18.
He's keen on Dungeons and Dragons so I made a fancy dice to hold the
 rolled up money he was being given.  
As it turned out the dice looked ridiculously big on the card so I chopped the top off it and just used that! 

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

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

A Bag for a Flower Press and WOYWW

  My microwave flower press has been sitting on a shelf in it's original cardboard box for years, the box is not only falling to pieces but is also rather unattractive in colour and design, so in my quest to 'pretty up' the book shelves I decided to make a little padded bag for it. 
Oh my goodness, I really could have done with Lunch Lady Jan on hand  - I thought it would be straight forward but what a complicated business!
I made the entire padded shape beautifully, got ready to turn it inside out and realised the wadding would be on the outside!  That was discarded and I started all over again.  This time I made it successfully but when I folded it up to make the bag shape I realised if I stitched the sides together and turned it inside out I'd lose width, and the fold over flap would be too wide and ruckle up.  So I hand stitched it down each edge and although it's not very neat, I can live with it!
Oh and I used up more scraps of fabric so extra points awarded for stash busting!


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

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

A Summer Tag and WOYWW

The mojo is still going (just!) and I made a tag this week.
Well, I made the background for the tag last year, I pressed the Mombretia flowers earlier this year, then this week I glued one to the other, added enamel dots and a ribbon and Hey Presto - creativity at it's minimum!
However, having had raging toothache and a course of strong antibiotics I feel pleased that I achieved anything at all!  
It is still sitting on my desk like this as I haven't had the impetus to tidy up yet and put things away - maybe that will come later, you can't rush these things!

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

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Lace Bobbin Painting

I've finally been doing a little bit of arty stuff after quite a long break from it.  The mojo went, life got in the way and some good and not so good things needed most of my attention!
However, at last I've picked up a paint brush and been creative - I've painted a few lace bobbins and here they are sitting on my desk in an old teacup while waiting for the varnish to dry on their little heads.   
For anyone interested I posted about bobbin painting a few weeks ago here.

I'm linking up with WOYWW this week.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Flower Casting

After a couple of not so good weeks I'm on the up 
and have been doing a little more flower casting to try and lift the spirits 
and improve my techniques!  
You can see my first attempts here.

 Brambles, Angelica, Chives and Heuchera.

Freesias and Heuchera  

A little Welsh Poppy.

A coat of grey paint, but I think I preferred it white!

The dining room table has been my desk during lock down, and here are some more castings waiting to be sanded, sealed and in some cases have a little colour added if they need a little more definition.  

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

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

The Most Beautiful Little Painting and WOYWW

I am thrilled to show you what is on my desk this week -
a most beautiful water colour sea urchin by the incredibly talented Sandra De, plus a card and some little stamps and sea urchin spines.
I sent her one of my Victorian cabinet card collages and she kindly sent me this - how lucky am I!  I love her work and I'm always in awe of her amazing ability to paint with such delicateness, reality and beauty.  I can't wait to get this framed and up on my wall.

The beautiful leaf card is also going to be framed and the stamps and tiny sea urchin spines are just delightful and filling me with inspiration.
A huge thank you to you Sandra.

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

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Bobbins and More Bobbins

 This week I have been busy successfully squishing my lace-making equipment into a space half the size it was originally in!  I also made a new bobbin roll for my bobbins as the old one was on it's last legs - I found a lovely William Morris off-cut for it in my stash so also made a little space in my fabric box -  woohoo - double space-saving success this week! 

Many years ago I used to paint bobbins and sell them - it was quite a success and I had lots of lovely ladies who collected them.  The designs had to be easy to replicate and not too detailed as I could easily be painting 50 of the same design at any one time!  During my sorting I came across my collection of Honiton bobbins that I painted for myself and thought I'd share a few of them with you - I don't make Honiton lace anymore as it's very fine and my 'old' eyes struggle with it, but I've held on to the bobbins 'just in case'!
If you wondered why these don't have beads (spangles) on the ends, Honiton bobbins don't as the lace is a lot finer than other laces so they would be too heavy and also there can be a fair amount of threading the bobbins through loops which would be much more difficult with spangles on the end.

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

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Never Ending Sorting and WOYWW

I decided that I needed to move my lace making equipment off the book shelf it had been sitting on for years to make way for a pile of books that are currently homeless - what should have been a simple job has taken two weeks of re-shuffling and re-organising virtually all my belongings!
I have eventually made a small gap on the book shelves and the lace stuff is being sorted to see if I can stuff it into a much smaller box that will fit on another shelf!  Why oh why did I start this!
So this week my desk, unusually for me, is an absolute mess - old bobbins that need new spangles (spangles are the beads that hang on the bottom end), a large jumble of beads and all the supplies that go with the job.

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

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Plaster Cast Flowers and WOYWW

In between all the usual lock down stuff like gardening, housework and competitive backgammon with the hubs I have discovered a new obsession - casting plants in plaster!
Sitting here on my desk are my first attempts - it's been a steep learning curve but hopefully I've learned from most of the numerous mistakes I made!

  I'll start with my favourite (and most successful so far!) The brambles are from my front garden and I think they look quite beautiful here although in the garden they promote swearing and frustration on a regular basis.

Chives on the left - dropped on the floor and smashed.
Baby ferns on the right - had to be chiselled out of the mould as I forgot to use mould release!

Pyracanthus buds

A rose with Lavender and dried grasses - I enthusiastically sanded off some of the stalks!

It's quite a long process, letting the plaster set then letting it dry out for days on end, but I did remember to take a desk shot earlier in the proceedings!

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

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Animal Tag

Over at Tag Tuesday the theme is 'Animals' so I've put together 
an animal tag using a beautiful paper napkin that I've been saving for just such an occasion!
I added fussy cut leaves from an old book and I also found some rusty metal palm leaves and tied them on with sari silk.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Vintage Photos and WOYWW Anniversary

I stamped images onto these old vintage photos a long time ago, with the intention of 'doing something' with them!  
All I needed was the WOYWW 11th Anniversary and Hey Ho I've spent a delightful week playing about and turning them into little collages. 

 I thought they showed the Victorian's love of collecting and hoarding but actually I think they depict mine!

A quick and unusal shot of my desk last night without the white 'photographic' tablecloth on it!  It had been whipped away and some little paper clay moulded shapes left out to dry -I made the 4 flowers at the front for a specific project but decided to use up the rest of the clay in random moulds before it dried out completely.   

And finally a Happy Anniversary to all the deskers, a huge thank you for the kind, supportive comments and warm friendship over the years, and a massive thank you and virtual hug to Julia who has amazingly brought us all together and kept us going - what a star!

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Cathedral Window Patchwork Pin Cushion and WOYWW

In stark contrast to last week I am so pleased I managed to work out what day of the week it is today so I can join in with WOYWW!  
I have been quite busy this week but did manage to find time to make myself a pincushion.  I was taught this Cathedral Window patchwork technique by a friend back in March and the one I made then was rather too vivid so I've made a more neutral coloured one - it matches the colours in my studio much better!

I  have some old antique photos I stamped some images on a few years ago and they've been sitting in a box doing nothing ever since - so they are going to be my UFO for next week - now I just have to find them!

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Silver Mandala Pendant

 Still keeping busy during lock down and still keeping to quite a regimented routine.  Giving myself an allotted time slot each day to craft has made me focus my mind on how I'm spending that time and I'm being more productive and doing less 'pottering'!    
Here's a silver clay pendant I've made this week using a lovely mandala style texture plate that I've been itching to use for a while now. 

The wet clay pendant was dried over a light bulb to give it the domed shape before firing.

I'm often asked what silver clay is when I post about it, so I thought I'd give a brief description for anyone interested - it's made of pure silver particles mixed together with clay to act as a binder.  When it's fired the clay binder burns off leaving just the pure silver behind.  It is a little purer than the 935 that you usually see on silver (which indicates 93.5% of pure silver) and can be hallmarked by an assay office as 999 (99.9% pure silver) if anyone has the inclination or money to do so!
Smaller pieces (around 15g of clay or less) don't need to be kiln fired and can be fired at home using a kitchen blow torch.

I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW this week. 
I hope you are all staying safe and well.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Playing with Silver

 In between making scrubs bags as mentioned last week, I have been giving myself craft and gardening breaks to ease the monotony of bag making!  This week I decided to have a play around with some silver clay.
I've been wanting to make a silver ivy leaf pendant for a while now, and so using a selection of ivy leaves from the garden and an ivy leaf veiner I found in my cake decorating kit I got stuck in!

This is what my desk looked like during the week.  First a plasticine model of what I wanted to make - this is always a useful thing to do, it gives an idea of whether the design works and also the technicalities of putting it together.  It was then made in clay and left to dry (at this point I had added the bezel as I knew I wanted to add a decorative stone).  Once it's been sanded and then fired it's time to polish, and this is my favourite bit!  It's hard to see in the last photo but the two right hand points of the leaf have started to be polished and are turning from a white matt to a lovely bright silver colour.  It can feel quite magical.
Finally the stone was added and after a lot more polishing it's ready to wear.  I chose a pale moonstone to blend with a lot of my spring/summer clothes.

I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW this week.
Hope you are all keeping safe and well. 

Thursday, 16 April 2020

A Gold and Silver Tag

The theme over at Tag Tuesday is Gold and Silver. 
 Although not easy to see I started with a silver wash over the Kraft card tag but unfortunately the camera has had difficulty picking up the shimmer from it.