Sunday 27 September 2009

Skinny Pages

I am doing my first alphabet skinny page swap - and I kinda jumped in the deep end without thinking. Gulp

I have to make 38 pages - and my letter is 'O'.

When I found out how many pages - my brain froze in panic!

I decided it was best to tackle it 'head on' rather than leaving it until nearer the deadline time and panic even more.

Here is a sample of some of them - don't want to put all the designs on here or it will spoil the surprise.

It is for a 'stamping' forum - so stamp I did - and distress!

I was limited by the little collection of stamps I have but here goes..............
(As usual click on the photo to enlarge)

is for Owls - some of which are on sunset orange inked backgrounds - the colour is much richer than the photo shows. The other owls are supposed to look as though it is misty almost foggy and mysterious. The black distressing is to suggest night time.

I don't have many 'sentiment' or 'word' stamps - but this poem I just love - by Walter de la Mere

You should see the state of my fingers - all shades of ink. No two are the same - they make look it at first glace, but each page was inked and stamped individually so they are all slightly different.

O is also for Oriental

So I have stamped different Oriental ladies onto different coloured backgrounds and coloured them with distress inks and Promarker pens.

I took all the photos in sunlight on my work bench which has bleached the colours somewhat - they are all richer shades. I have yet to mount them all on a bigger piece of card. I have laid the Oriental lady onto pink card - its not Barbie doll pink as it looks here - but different shades of deeper pink - a bit deeper than the bottom of the backing card!

Edited to say

I have finally finished - this post is just a sneak peek at some of them there are more different orientals not shown here - and owls. I have embossed some too!

They have all been mounted on white card with the space at the top for where they are to be bound!

A better photo of some of the owls

All finished and ready to go - just got to buy some padded envelopes then they will be in the post next week.

Saturday 26 September 2009

Harvest Festival

For the first time is ages this morning was lovely and cloudy - perfect.

I slip, slapped, and slopped on the suncream, and covered up from top to toe to spend a wonderful time up the allotment until lunchtime and the sun came out.

Here is just a small sample of my harvest festival - my growing work of art!

Wonderful sunflowers now adorn my little home. I don't usually like picking flowers - but there are so many up the allotment that I decided to bring some home - they make me smile.

Pat dug up a carrier bag full of these gorgeous potatoes - just a tiny sample of them here

I picked double the amount of corgettes shown here - these have now been cooked with double the amount of tomatoes - roasted in the oven with other scrummy things!

I also roasted a big tray of tomatoes, in olive oil, herbs and black pepper - to freeze for the winter.

The butternut squash was a surprise - and I picked a carrier bag of mixed beans - probably the last for this year.

All these have been grown in drought conditions without any watering either. Just goes to show what well rotted manure will do!

My internet is 'flakey' to say the least, and I have got 38 skinny pages to make and mount, and 9 inches.

Tomorrow we are off to the seaside - if it is not too sunny.

Thanks for 'passing by' I will be back next week!

Have a good weekend

Thursday 24 September 2009

Latest Bag

As usual click to enlarge to see the detail

The image from Just Lilla I printed onto fabric and then went to town on her!

I made her dress which took hours - sewed on beads. Her necklace is tiny seed beads and as she is dancing a jig - it is bouncing about around her neck.

It has taken me a whole day so far! I really must buy a proper pattern! The bag took me hours - honestly - I just couldn't work out how I could achieve a bag without any seams visible inside! Lilla has one on her blog, but I just couldn't work out how to do it - I think you must need thin material and lots of it!

Here is how I made it - perhaps someone reading this might enlighten me!

I cut one long strip out of the thick fabric for the bag. One the same size for the cream lining material, and one piece of padding the same size!

I then made a 'sandwich' face down on the bench - padding cream bag material on top right side facing up, then the lining material.

Sewed them up on three sides, leaving one short side so that I could turn it inside out - which I did and pressed it.

I then folded it into three so that I had the body of the bag, and the front panel 'flap'.

What I would like to do is to have all the seams hidden but this way you get tiny seams inside the bag - which doesn't really matter - as they are neat baving been already sewn on the other side.

The material is very thick cream with an embossed pattern in it - almost like tapestry. I got it from a charity shop yesterday - £2.50 for a metre - I should have enough for another bag - maybe two!

When I go into town to college next week - I need to buy some cream cord for the shoulder straps.

I know I am on a BIG learning curve - but I am really enjoying the process - its rather relaxing sewing on beads and bits of material - you have to really concentrate!

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Lilla's paper lady Tute

On Lilla's blog there is a tute on how to 'jazz up' a printed paper image into a Christmas paper doll

Here is my attempt

(Click to enlarge to see a close up of the netting skirt)
I cut her into sections. Next I cut out a hat shape, and glued a tiny peice of glittery red material and added a big red stickle. I used some cream netting for her skirt, enhanced some colours using promarkers, and as I didn't have any beads, I used stickles glue as beads, even on her dainty satin shoes. Finally I glued her back together onto thick card to make into a hanger or a tag not sure which. Lilla made hers a different way, but I didn't any craft sticks so had to improvise. I just love the elegance of times gone by - and those gorgeous evening gloves. I think she looks rather Regency don't you?

Lilla has this image and a Marie Antoinnette image too. Thanks for your wonderful inspiration Lilla

I loved this image so much that I have printed her onto material and am busy sewing on 'things' with the intention of using her on a bag - which I have yet to make!

A little work of art

No one feeds my fish with such flair as my grandson

He doesn't throw in great big hand fulls - just dainty little pinches of food.

Yesterday I apent from 8am until almost 4pm with my husband carrying barrow loads of hedge 'trimming' and tree branches - we had a man round to do the annual prune. We filled up a farmers 'skip' type trailer - it takes more than two tons, and Pat had to jump up and down on the contents to get them all in!

One look at my little grandson takes away all the aches and pains though

Needless to say that today I am feeling the consequences!

Friday 18 September 2009

Work in progress.............I think

Click on images to enlarge

(I took this photo today in daylight - the others were taken indoors last night)

When I say that I think this is a work in progress, I am not sure.

I feel that it is missing something - but what it is I do not know or have! Yards of lace along the full length of the long handles probably - to make it look more feminine. More little beads sewn on perhaps. I am growing my stash gradually - and these things I will buy for future projects. The trouble with me is that I just get an impulse and have to act on it immediately, without any planning. I then have a rummage around and Voila - something appears! The recipient I am sure can add bits to it!

I should have waited until daylight to take a photo - and until I had 'finished' it - but as I have family staying and then a busy week, it wouldn't get posted, and I am too impatient to hear your ideas of how to improve it.

The image I printed onto material - and the image was a free one from Minds Wide Open which I have cropped to fit this project. The size of the image is just under half of an A4 size.

Have you ever tried taking a photo of an empty tote bag hanging on a wall - I have and it doesn't work as it buckles and bends no matter how hard you try.

So that is why it is laying on the back of an armchair and looking all askew.

I started with a plain tote bag, added the lace strip in the middle, which I think might have spent it's 'other life' as a tie of some sort for net curtains. I got it at a jumble sale - only one sadly - and unpicked it as it was machine sewed together in different places. It was just enough for a pretty lace panel down the centre of the tote bag.

I accentuated the flowers and some of the colours on the material print, and sewed on some sequins and little lime glass beads.

The lovely pink glittery material came from Christine thank you so much - and if you like the bag - it is yours!

The netting I cut into strips and sewed and arranged them in front and behind all around the picture before sewing it all onto the middle panel. It looks quite simple but being a beginner it has taken me hours and hours to complete.

It won't take the weight of a weeks shopping - or the full set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, but it is quite sturdy.

Does anyone have a link to somewhere I can buy plain tote bags please at a reasonable price in the UK?

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Secret Squirrel! Project

I can now reveal the 'Secret Squirrel' project that I was working on for quite a while.

A member of a forum I used to belong to is getting married this month, so some of us got together to make pages for a book for her.

I was responsible for collating all the pages, making the book covers and making the book - and of course wrapping it up and sending it off.

I am not a very confident person, and I made several attempts at making the book covers - and lost a lot of sleep over it - especially when the most gorgeous book pages started to arrive - awesome. But I tried my best - and I guess that's all one can do.

I made the covers out of thick mount board. The front I collaged and used a rub on for the 'Love'.

The back page was collaged and I did some stamping on that. The borders are made out of Sari Ribbon.

The insides of the covers I painted lime to match the outside covers, stamped the pattern, and added poems on those and inside.

I think the recent postal strikes had delayed it somewhat - but at last it has arrived safely

The front cover

The back cover

The inside covers with romantic verses - and messages from all of us on the forum

The assembled book

Here are all the lovely internal pages - and the names those who made them. They are all gorgeous and so individual - and make a nice and original keepsake.



Mel - who kindly sent messages to everybody inviting them to join in.






Mine - 'Something old, something new' - etc

I love this poem - click to enlarge to read it.

Thank you to everyone who took part - your work is absolutely stunning - and I felt so privileged to see each page, and hold them and touch them - I only wish that my photos did them more justice!

Getting a little Distressed

Its has been a while since I got all inky - so I thought I would have a go this afternoon, having spent the morning on my allotment - harvesting.

On the Time for Crafting site and forum, we are having a play with distress inks. There are some fabulous examples in this months' magazine - and also in the members gallery.

The cover of this book is coloured using distress inks, using Cut and Dry foam pads to apply it.

It is a shame that you can't see the lovely coppery tones achieved by adding some Cosmic copper shimmer to the inks - it really makes it look like burnished leather.

I haven't smudged or splodged the sentiments stamping by the away - they are Tim Holtz stamps from Happy Daze and look at way. I liked the 'old fashioned' typewriter type script of this stamp.

The vintage girl image is from Crafty Individuals - and the butterfly is one I have on a CD which I have printed and coloured to match the little bow in the girl's hair.

Of course I just had to add an image and stamp on the back cover.

I used thick mountboard to make the covers - so used cream card with brown dots for the inside of the covers, then using distressed inks, I tried to make them look old and fade - they do in real life!

I am going to put images on the inside covers too - just haven't decided on which ones yet.

Monday 14 September 2009

Robin Redbreast

I have been working in the garden today - urgent things to do before the rain started - and it fell down this afternoon.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this darling young robin that waited patiently for each spade full of soil - so that he could get to it before the chickens

He is so tiny

So inquisitive

He spends most of his days in our garden - we are a cat free zone - the bantams see to that!

I do hope he stays with us all winter

Sunday 13 September 2009

Art Creations Friday Challenge 40

I have just found this blog and decided to join in with the challenge using the vintage image which they provided.

My entry is inspired by Lilla's from whom I have bought some bags, and from whom I received this gorgeous tag

Alas I do not have her wonderful talent or flair - or years of experience, but her work does fire me up with enthusiasm to have a go!

So this is my attempt for the Art Creations Friday Challenge

The image was in brown, which I have coloured with inks, and made a 'frame' to go around it.

It does look better in 'real life' the gold is very subtle - I took the above photo under a lamp just to show it up - but it is really not that bright.

I think I am going to take that 'flower' off the bottom which I made - it looks too big - I can just tear off the paper - no big deal

Thank you all so very much for commenting - it is so kind of you to take the time and the trouble. - And it encourages me to try even harder too!


I just wanted to make a little announcement about the vintage images I sometimes use in my work.

A number of years ago, I bought three CD's of Victorian images from a company in the US.

I just loved the 'romance' of them. In all I must have a few thousand images on the CD's.

There are photos of cards for all occassions, in fact one disk is almost entirely Christmas cards , botanicals, butterflies. animals, labels (food, cigars, cigarettes etc) vintage scrapbook pages, angels, copies of paintings, the list is endless. There are also hundreds of vintage 'studio' portrait photos, ladies, children, men, couples, some photo postcards etc.

The reason I am mentioning this is that I have often come across these in the public domain, flickr, forums, blogs with 'giveaway' images, challenges etc.

So, if you happen to see me using a image that you recognize and you might have used it, downloaded it etc, and see it on here and have not received credit for it - please do not take offence - it is because it is one I have on my CD's.

I wanted to explain, in case I have inadvertently upset anyone, especially as I have recently resurrected them and started using them again. I used them a lot when I first started 'art work' then when I discovered and bought rubber stamps, they went by the wayside, but I have just started using them again for image transfers.

There are some that I just adore - and have started using and will be using over the next week or so - which are from my CDs but do appear quite frequently on other blogs/sites - wherever I notice them and join in a challenge I will of course acknowledge this site.

Saturday 12 September 2009

A little needle case

Edited 11.55pm to say:

I never knew there were actually needle books - and have just googled and looked up some links - and now feel rather embarrassed as this is nothing like they should be!

So in future I will make a 'proper' one - with padding etc. but until then - this one will serve it's purpose!

After peeling off the labels I just had to make something with some of the material samples - and this is what I made. But it almost never got started as when I took my sewing machine out of the case and plugged it in, it just wouldn't sew. The needle would not go up and down and the machine just made a whirring noise.

I was really puzzled as it worked the day before. I thought perhaps I had 'messed it up' sewing the bag and its' thick lining together.

I just could not work it out, and was very disappointed to say the least - thinking that I would have to try and find a mechanic to look at it.

Then I read the leaflet - and had a 'light hulb' moment - and hey presto it worked.
There is a 'thing' at the top where you fill up a bobbin, and it must have got knocked when I took the lid off. I clicked it back into position - and I was off!

Once again, no pattern, just one of my ideas having seen the sample materials, and wondering what to do with them - these were the plainer.

I found in my plastic box that I had all sorts of odd needles - not in anything - which is not very clever is it. Really thick ones on the left.

And overleaf a few that are 'sizes 3 to 6 sharp' That made me laugh, all the needles are 'sharp' I have the marks on my fingers to prove it after making the bag.

On the right is a semi-circular needle - I have tucked in the point as it is very sharp. I haven't a clue where it came from, I certainly haven't used it - and have no idea why one would need a needle that shape - can anyone enlighten me please?

Here is the back of the little case and..........

The front cover.

It looks very textured in 'real life' and the colours are lovely. Not a needlewoman's work of art - just a fun project by a beginner.

I did an image transfer onto a scrap of cream cotton. I coloured it with Promarkers, and used grey to go over the stems and poppy centres. I am not even sure that there were any poppies - I just painted them in! Ditto the yellow - I just painted them the colour of winter Jasmine! I know that poppies bloom in summer and not at the same time as the yellow winter shrub - it's called 'artistic licence' methinks!

The 'trim' was a free sample which came with a magazine ages ago. It was something that I never found any use for in my paper arty crafty work - but it looks fine on here. In natural light you can't see the glue strip which you can in the photo, and I have stitched it here and there to keep it on.

It was a totally fun thing to make and play with - and now at least my needles are all together in one safe place. They might even get used now that I have started 'sewing'.

I recently did a bit of genealogy research, and discovered that my mother was a trained seamstress - so perhaps I may have inherited some of it in my genes LOL - at least it is nice to think I might.

Who is a very lucky lady ? I am starting a 'stash'!

I put an advertisement in the village post office and sweet shop a couple of days ago - and didn't really expect a reply - but I DID last night. From a very kind lady who is moving and has been getting rid of things - wish I had known sooner - I could have bought a box full of ribbons and trimmings.

But I am utterly thrilled to bits with which I do have........

This wonderful lace is about 12 inches deep!

Two of these - which I think may be 'chair backs' that someone has made to protect the chair where your head reats. I can't stop looking at the wonderful embroidery.

Look at these wonderful material samples. I spent a happy time peeling off the labels at the back. Mainly Laura Ashley.

I also got two gorgeous 'shiny' half a yard/metre of fabrics.

This is the reverse side of the shiny creamy colour piece

And this is the reverse of the orange piece

And this sample I think I shall be afraid to use!

It is thick and like satin and embroidered. about 12 inches square - but looks like it might have been for a wedding dress bodice or something like that!