Sunday, 30 March 2014

How does one recongise a crafter?

Happy Mothering Sunday!

Just a quick update, this is the card I made my mum.  The panel in the middle is from a fabric offcut and the fan is one of those plastic buttons that I just cut the shank off (love my Tim Holtz scissors they really can cut up most things I throw at them!).

I have also come the decision that crafters can recognise each other....see if you agree:
Yesterday I am sat in a cafe.  It is in Devon, so not my home town where someone may recognise me.  There are several other people in the cafe....but the one person I smile at and say hello also engages with me...and before you know it we find out we both make cards and stitch....she brings out of her bag a wonderful quilt she is currently making for one of the staff at the cafe...ALL hand stitched-now, neither of us knew each other and I didn't even have my WOYWW badge on my bag, so the question is how did we both know?

Odd eh?  Just goes to show how craft can be a great leveller.

Happy crafting


Friday, 28 March 2014

A flutterby card

So, you may have noticed that paper crafting has been a little off my radar of late.  Soldering, fabric stuff, resin...anything but cards!!

But there comes a time when you really need to crack on and make some cards and I needed to make some female ones so came up with this.

I am trying to use up the amazingly large amount of patterned paper I appear to have amassed over the years and for this card I used the right hand side of the paper to create the card.  The leftover left hand side had a nice flower pattern on so I cut this out and added to to the bottom left of the card over the top of some ribbon (which I added some glitter to, just because I seem to have a lot of glitter to!).

I added a sentiment and a topper and cut out a butterfly left over from the scraps.

Simple but quite a pretty, feminine card.

Now I only have several hundred pattern paper sheets and about a ton of glitter (me, prone to exaggerate?  Never!!) to use up.

Happy crafting


Wednesday, 26 March 2014


Oh my, it's Wednesday already?  I swear the weeks are just getting shorter as the days are getting longer!!!
So, my desk this week is back to its usual state of creativity in action (aka a mess).
My 365 journal is out for the days events to be added and the green and pale orange splodged A4 sheet is going to be cut up for the journal blocks ready for April's pages.
Top left peaking out are my crocheted skulls (still there from my friend from last week) and I am waiting until I pick up my dry cleaning so I can repurpose the safety pins from the labels to sew onto the skulls and change them into brooches (sorry but there are two things I refuse to purchase, safety pins because our suits always come back from the dry cleaners with at least 2 on...and I don't use many in a year.  I also refuse to buy elastic bands as it appears post men and women seem to have no regard for them and toss them away (usually in my garden!) so I see these as free stash! Mind you, anyone who has been to the WOYWW meet ups will know I was the one who went round all the bins and made a journal page out of scraps I found!).
Also on my desk is my first attempt at an appliqued and reverse appliqued wall hanging. This is a new craft for me and I found a free step by step tutorial on the School of Stitched Textiles website.

 Ta da....!  I am really pleased how it turned out.  It uses machine and hand embroidery and lots of other new techniques.

So there you have it.  My desk in all its glory (well, I do tend to think of the craft room as a bit of a glory hole!).

So, if you'd like a legal snoop at desks across the globe then feel free to join us and pop over to the Queen of WOYWW, the lovely Julia

Happy Crafting


Sunday, 23 March 2014

When two worlds collide

 Hello peeps, I hope the weekend is treating you well?

During the week I took advantage of a new railcard in the UK, the TwoTogether card.  Travel after 0930 or anytime at the weekend for the 2 people on the card is a third off.  We bought it primarily for our trips to London but then I thought...the stitch show is at the NEC...hmmm.

It was all a bit of a last minute rush, but after the totally awful last 15 months I have had I thought "sod it". Rather than go up on my own my lovely hubby suggested he come with me (bless him!). 
So, off on the train we went, and the saving with our new card paid for the card in one transaction!

These are a selection of the photos I took, its a little photo heavy so why not grab a coffee and settle back?

There was some lovely art material stalls...not as many as I would have liked but I still managed to get some goodies!

 This was one of the glazes and mediums on display.

Whilst I loved the hobbycraft bit, my love is really mixed media and textiles.  So many of the pieces on display were mind blowing-even hubby enjoyed this part!

 This was one piece for the background of the quilt and had photos transferred onto fabric appliqued over-really effective.

 I loved this rainforest quilt and spent quite a long time just standing there staring at this one!

 The dimensions on this piece were fabulous

 The detail and shading on this one was breathtaking

 These small hanging art quilts were SO inspiring.  I am currently making a VERY basic version of something like these at the moment!

Now, the NEC is a large place and 2 halls were taken up with Hobbycraft and Stitch, another was an education show and the other.....well that was a Comic and Collectable show!!

Look who was there!! 

 I met some Storm Troopers too!!!!

 Not often do my worlds of Sci-Fi and art mix.....but I loved it!

It was a knackering day and my poor little RA inflamed body took a battering, but it was worth it!

So, did I buy some stash?  Well, I was really restrained.....NO fabric or thread!!!!!  I know, I couldn't believe it either!

I did buy these though. 

 Some dye based watercolour paints that I plan on using on a wall hanging and 3 sets of small 1" by 1" TH distress inks-I thought these would be brilliant for my craft travel tote for when I go to my Coven meetings, crops or on holiday.

 Some Indigo Blue stamps (I love the quality of their stamps) and these phrases are brilliant

 Even though this stamp and stencil are not a pair I think they go together really well.

 I have never seen these rubbers and shields before, they were only £3.50 for the whole lot so I thought I would give them a go.

 In a nod to my Father and Grandfather (neither who are with us anymore) who both loved woodwork and creating things with their hands I bought this marquetry kit!  I have never had a go a this before, but I thought it looked a bit different and I can never say no to a new craft!  I will let you know how I get on!
 These moulds are for air drying clay.  I use a lot of hot glue and resin in my work so I thought I would give them a go....its not what they were intended for but I am hoping they have enough release agent built in to let them work with other mediums.

 I finally found these little stick on thimbles that I have been on the look out for for what seems like a couple of years!  I thought they would be really good for my little travel kit when I do a bit of handstitching, and a new blade for my poor blunt cutter! 
 Last, but in no ways least is my new book. I have all of Kim Thittichai's books and this is her new one not even in the shops yet but the shipment came in time for her stand at the show.

I love her work, its so experimental and really pushes some of the preconceived ideas of how stitching should be.

Phew, and there you have it.  Not tons of stuff to find a new home for but some fabulous goodies. 

Finally a big thankyou to my Nan over in New Zealand.  She kindly sent me some money for my birthday last month and believe it or not the above came to almost the same amount!!  Obviously meant to be.

Also, it is my Nan's 90th Birthday today and I had a lovely skype with her earlier.  I will blog what I made her once I am sure she has opened it!!

Now, I just need some more painkillers and some bed rest to repair my body (before I play with my new stash!).

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

WOYWW with some hot tips

Hello peeps.  I know I am going to be busy with the day job this week so this is scheduled and the photo was taken earlier this week.
So What's on MY Workdesk?  Well, I have decided to have another go at some soldering (hence the blog post title!).
I am trying to make a kitchen timer!

This is it out of its housing.  It doesn't work properly as all the LED's don't light up and the alarm goes off only on some!  I know a few engineers so put it out on facebook and they have come back with some good suggestions about testing the LED's-but to be honest I think the answer is probably that I may have been a bit heavy handed and burnt them out.  The soldering iron used to be my dad's and I don't think the tip gets that hot so I was melting the solder with the side and it all got a bit hot!!

Nevermind, it's all an experiment and can only go to enhance my craft skills!!
My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Burns Nurse Blasts Girl' or even 'Blasts Girl Burns Nurse!'

Anyhoo, if you fancy a legal snoop at desks across the globe then pop over to the lovely Julias blog 
 Happy crafting


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Flying art

Hello peeps, I hope you are all well.

I thought I had spoken too soon enthusing about the well overdue improvement in the weather-mid week saw some of the worst fog I have ever seen (let alone driven in!!) but mother nature has done us proud and this weekend is a beautiful sunny one,so the windows are thrown open and washing is on the line and hubby even managed to cut the lawn!  Long may it continue!

Some of you may know that I have a love of postcards, especially making them.  I love to make a postcard and then put my faith in Royal Mail and post it around the globe!!  This all came about because Donna at the last WOYWW get together convinced me to take a leap of faith, and I am glad I did as they have all been well received.

This is my latest one (I know its been received so I can blog it now!).  I painted the background with watercolours and stamped gingko leaves (masking some of them) on the left.
I stamped a dragonfly and coloured it with inktense inks (I love the depth of colour these produce) and added a little glitter.

I then added some faux stitching around the edge and sprayed it with an acrylic spray varnish to protect the card in the post.

I made two of these,this one is a birthday card for my friend in Switzerland and the other was an acceptance card for a friend who is getting married next month.

So, if you were ever thinking of making a postcard...go one, I encourage you to put your faith in the postal system and let your art fly!

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


 Hello peeps, for those of you in the UK I hope you are enjoying the dry weather!!!  Long may it last!

So, on my desk this week is the surgical spirit and Glycerine (again)-but thanks to Shaz for her update on some things I can use them for (I will get round to it-promise!!).

On the left are 2 crocheted skulls that an old school friend made for me, they are so lovely I plan on sewing a badge back and adding them to one of my handbags.

On the right are my embossing paste experiments from Mary-Annes instructions (I have already made some cards from them and these are left over, waiting for inspiration to strike). Near the front some more thermomix experiments (I have been trying to work out how to colour them, these have golding wax applied but the colour doesn't apply as well as acrylic paint-I must try harder!!).

This weeks "Man Bites Dog" cards read like a page from a gossip magazine "Wife Bites Fake Nails"!!!

So, if you fancy a legal snoop at desks across the globe then pop over to the Queen of desks Julia 

 Happy Crafting


Sunday, 9 March 2014

365 March Challenge

Hello peeps, are you having a nice weekend?
Over here in the southwest UK we have had the first dry and sunny weekend since Christmas-wow, it certainly makes a difference to how you feel-after 3 months on seemingly non stop rain it really does lift the spirits.

Only a quick update, but I am actually upto date with my 365 challenge over on the fabulous Kate Cranes blog.

I used my white dylusion spray through a stencil and added a few scribbled circles over it.
I am not sure whether to add some more decoration (I used my drunk mad march hare last year! He may have to come out again).  I will probably decide as the month progresses.

Right, off to bring in the washing.  Funny how small things can lighten the heart-the first wash on the line this year, it makes such a difference than drying it on airers around the house!!!

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


 Happy What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

So, my desk still has some bits and bobs on it from last week...the glycerine and the surgical spirits remain untouched (hangs head in shame)...but I did get a chance to play with the recipe Mary Anne put on her blog for homemade embossing paste.

 After trying colouring it the other week with alcohol inks, I decided to try metallic acrylic paint and added some more talc as it made it a little thin.

 It went through my Tim Holtz stencil quite nicely

But I really liked the way it took with my silver birch stencil from Crafters Workshop.

You can see the depth I managed to get with it a bit better on this shot.
The metallic sheen is still there, but it is not as shiny-and I love the way it all smells of talc!!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are: 'Stars weds blonde fans' - odd, but not as macabre as last weeks!

So, if you fancy stopping by some desks across the globe and having a legal snoop, pop over to Julia's blog (there is a link on the right).

Happy Crafting

Monday, 3 March 2014

Vintage weekend

Hello peeps, I hope you are all well and had a fabulous weekend?

This weekend we went to a Vintage fair in Swindon.  Now, I grew up not too far from there and haven't been back since I was about 14....well it was not recognisable I can tell you!

The fair had some lovely vintage cars and motorbikes on display and a few stalls (I bought myself a black wool coat that I plan on needle felting some colour onto!).  

During the evening the gigs were inside the shopping arcade-what a brilliant idea for such a large space not in use during the evening.  I think it was the first gig I have ever been to where there was NO booze-I sat in a seat (which was great after being on my feet all day) in Boswells cafe having a cuppa and watching some fabulous acts!

We also found a pop up art gallery, which was brilliant and there was portrait drawing going on in there and also a wall full of artists journals that you could look through-a great idea.

With people walking around all done up from the 30's-50's there were some amazing sights...this won hands down though!

Yep, a chap walking round town with a proper metal helmet complete with chain mail!! No idea why, but why not I say!!!.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.  I am just finishing off making a birthday present from my nan's 90th birthday in a few weeks....but obviously cannot post it on here until she has seen it!!

Happy crafting