Friday, 24 July 2015

Sunflowers and nail art!

 I thought I would share with you a couple of summery cards I made recently using some free papers from a magazine that I have had hanging around for at least a couple of years!

 Once again I matted and layered the toppers onto scrap card from my now shrinking (and organised thanks to poundland 5x A5 plastic folders to separate similar scraps) scrap box.

Whilst I was in poundland buying the A5 plastic folders (they are clear so you can see what scraps are inside, perfect for organising my bits).  In the beauty section I spotted 5 containers of small caviar like micro beads (like the product you add to texture paste) in a selection of colours. 5 containers for a pound seemed like too good a bargain not to at least try!


I poured a small mound of glue in the centre of each sunflower and added the paler coloured microbeads first to build some depth then added the bronze ones on top to give the impression of sunflower seeds.

I think it works quite well.  I don't think I would ever put these products on my nails (their intended use) but on crafting projects, seems like a bargain to me.

Happy crafting


Wednesday, 22 July 2015


 Once again it is hump day which can only mean one thing..."What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" when many of us across the globe do the bidding of the lovely Julia and bare our desks in all their glory.  Sometimes clean (not mine), often messy with WIP's (Works in Progress), a floor (Helen) and many that leave me envious with space and organising skills that I only practise on Pinterest!!

My desk this week has the start of my August 365 Journal challenge...not sure why red and black maybe watermelon or lady birds?  Who knows it was just the colours I was drawn to-it usually works out ok though.

 On the left is my now very dirty poundland (again) paint spreader pad that Shaz Silverwolf put me onto, spritz water on it and clean your stamps-just as good a job as those VERY expensive purpose made pads that cost over £10!

 On someones blog last week they had some lovely postcards (sorry I cannot remember whose blog it was) and it prompted me to take photos of my postcard wall!

Yep, I love receiving as well as sending postcards SO much I have an entire wall dedicated to them in my craft room.  Some have been made, some are from my family on their travels

 Some are from my penfriend in the states

 and some are from my fellow Coven friend, Julie, who sent me random vintage postcards nearly one a day for a couple of weeks when I was in hospital and 2 years later she still sends me a random card (usually from the 1970's with a random Tommy Cooper joke often written on the back!). I keep them all as they are special and attach them to the wall.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are: 'Lawyer Attacks Mayor'....look out George Ferguson (our elected Mayor in Bristol)....the writing is on the cards!!!



Monday, 20 July 2015


On my last WOYWW I mentioned I have been looking for a bottle stamp for a while and a few of you sent me details of ones that are available in the UK, so a huge thanks for that.

The only bottle item I have are a couple of sheets of peel-offs which I use to make cards like this

The peel-offs are attached to white card and I colour in the image and use a light grey to add some shadow to give it a little depth.  I matted the image onto some left over gold card and the vintage postcard background is yet more of my wallpaper samples!  I added a small amount of raffia to the left of the card (reminds me of the Mateus Rose bottles of my youth!).

Good for male or female cards and add a "congratulations" stamp or peel-off and it works for a variety of occasions.

Happy crafting


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Institue of Making London Pt2

 Welcome back to my blog and Part 2 of the catch up of my recent trip to London.
Day one we visited the RA Summer Exhibition and I blogged about that in an earlier post.

The following day we went to University College London (UCL) to their Engineering department for a free Festival of Stuff!

 They took over a large outside space and inside one of their labs too
 There was free ice cream, coffee and music too!

 Whilst there was a lot children could do there was a lot of adults without kids (like us) taking part in the experiments

Willow weaving large balls

 Homemade silly putty

 I made a LED badge with copper tape and a battery (again a free workshop)

 There was a handmade geiger counter demonstrating the radioactive levels of bananas and brazil nuts!

 Alka-Seltzer rockets were exploding round this corner

 This group were hand carving a large wood cut image 

 and then using a steam roller to act as the press!
 Printing on a HUGH scale!

 There was copper bowl and spoon making sessions

 Lots of explosions and things on fire!

 Many hands on tables.  This was aluminium smelter and a neon plastic where without a light source the cut end glowed
 This was a fine knitted metal mesh which looked dull grey until a certain spectrum of light shone on it and it glowed white!

 As you can imagine with all these experiments taking place there had to be a certain level of Health and Safety.  For once common sense ruled as these were the only signs I saw!!

A fantastic free afternoon.  I like to think of it as extreme crafting!


Saturday, 18 July 2015

What will the Neighbours say?

 This is a bit of a catch up post.  The other weekend hubby was away gigging (he is in a punk band) and it was sunny so I decided to take my crafting outside!

I sat in the garden and decided to play with dying wool with food colouring (my cousin's wife Kristina did it recently with their young son, so I decided I should at least try it!) and then grabbed some acrylic inks and shaving foam (cheapo 28p stuff!) and lined a baking tray with cling film before filling it with shaving foam and sploshing inks about.

Soon I was in a right old mess, hands, clothes, garden....foam, ink, wet wool, food colouring, paper and the odd gust of wind!  I am sure you can picture the scene.

 I do wonder if the neighbours think I am odd as this was the washing line!

 The wool (plain and £1 a ball from the charity shop) was soaked in a white vinegar solution and I microwaved it to set the colour, when I washed it this was the end result. The blue was not very strong (Kristina recommended a couple of different brands so I will try those next, thanks for the tips) but the red and yellows are lovely.

My foam marbled backgrounds worked out really well, I got about 8 pieces transferred before the ink became a little muddy.
Now, I thought I would try the food colouring on a piece of silk screen printed cotton I made previously.  I sprinkled the vinegar soaked fabric with dye and sprinkled some coarse sea salt over to see if this reacted with the dye and microwaved it also.

Note to self....DO NOT do this!  It burns the fabric.  The brown is all scorched.  Where the salt was it ate through the fabric (hence the holes) and the house STANK of salt and vinegar!!  Now, this is a mess but I am wondering that there may be a use for the salt burnt holes in fabric maybe in the future if I am doing some fabric rusting or a wall hanging?  As they say, every day is a school day!  So long as I learn something from an experiment I don't mind.

Happy crafting


Friday, 17 July 2015

July 365

Just a quick update as I realised I forgot to post my July pages from Kate Cranes 365 challenge.

Instead of the usual circle or square I tend to use for the journalling I punched out tags to represent luggage tags.



Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Hi peeps, sorry not taken part for a couple of weeks, you know how it is.

First I would like to pass my condolences onto the friends and family of fellow WOYWWer Eliza Harms. Many of you will know Eliza and her cat Yoda and her sudden death comes as very sad news to us all.

On my desk this week are some of my new purchases from Blade Rubber following a recent trip to London.  I have been looking for a decent fish stamp for ages (I have also been looking for a decent wine bottle stamp for many years, if anyone knows who makes one please let me know!).  The Watering Can Archival ink (for those time when black is too harsh) and I couldn't resist the boots and converse daps (or trainers to those of you not from the south west of the UK!) stamps.  They are so detailed, I am looking forward to seeing how they stamp.

I also bought 3 paperartsy chalk paints after seeing Helen's (stampingbyH) beautiful journal pages I knew I had to have a few of these!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Tough Blonde Sues Wall St. Lover'.....ooh!

Happy crafting


Sunday, 12 July 2015

Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition

So, you may have noticed that I have not blogged for a few weeks.  Mainly due to a combination of my RA flaring and leaving me exhausted and the 'pay the bills' job being in overdrive and taking up much more than the 40 hrs a week it is meant to!  Not a great combination.

In an effort to break the cycle, hubby and I decided to book a very last minute break in London for a long weekend.  We did lots of 'arty' stuff but the main reason was the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition.  We have been going for the last few years and this year was a fabulous mix of different styles and mediums.  

The Summer Exhibition has been running for 247 years, which in itself is amazing in its own right.   It is sometimes accused of  being stuck in the past however this year, the exhibition is co-ordinated by Michael Craig-Martin RA – a leading artist of his generation and the teacher who nurtured the talents of Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst.  It really showed, some of the room were painted bright colours and complemented the art.

I took lots of photos and these are just a few, I make no apologies for the photo heavy content of this post, if you'd like to see some of the art then please feel free to scroll down and enjoy.

 This sculpture was made from plastic sheets, similar to the sort you make conservatory roofs from, painstakingly cut and layered to create the figure.

 The art varies in size from large to small and intricate

 This one was created from various layers (like a tunnel book).

 When you looked through the apertures you caught a glimpse of the picture behind

 It gave me a feeling of snooping as you caught glimpses of life behind the curtains

 This piece was within a large glass block and the way it was cut meant you saw different views depending on where you stood

This giant head was made from coat-hangers!

 Some of the pieces were slightly disturbing

 Others blew me away

 The detail in this piece was breathtaking

 I love the fact that famous, infamous and the public can all submit pieces for consideration.  This was a large tapestry by Grayson Perry (we have been lucky enough to see a couple of his exhibitions over the years)

 The serenity of this painting was a joy

 Jim Lambie’s kaleidoscopic stairs lead up to the Main Galleries. It was really weird being able to walk over a piece of art!

 Outside you are greeted by the towering formation of steel 'clouds' by Conrad Shawcross

A fabulous trip and if you are in London over the summer and love art then I recommend a trip to the RA.  I will blog about the other exhibition we went to over the coming week or so.