Sunday 26 August 2012

Bedroom door plaque

I had my darling little grandson visit for the weekend with his dad and mum.
Apart from all the cooking he did - and lots of other fun stuff - we spent a couple of hours in the studio playing.

The plaque to his bedroom door is broken he told me  it only says L  E.  It came from a shop.
So I asked if he'd like to make his own one.

We used a piece of mountboard - about 8 inches by 6 inches.

He just loves metallic paints - so he painted the board bright gold!
And he wanted specific dinasaur pictures to paint so we searched the internet for colouring in pictures and he chose these.  

He was very particular which colours he wanted to paint them too (after I had explained that if he painted them gold, silver and bronze you wouldn't see the detail underneath)

I won't pretend that he cut them out - because he didn't - he's only six years old!  So I cut them out for him - and together we stuck them on.

He likes to play with polymer clay and he wanted to make his name with it - so he chose the colours himself, conditioned the clay in the pasta machine, then rolled sausages to make letters.

He squashed them with his hand to make the backs flat, and hey presto, when they were baked and cooled we stuck them on!

His daddy is going to fit it to his bedroom door!

....And there was me, thinking that it would be a 15 minute playtime painting a door hanger from my stash. I think that this is far nicer.

I can't resist telling you something funny that he came out with yesterday - I love the things children say.

Grandad was rubbing his leg, and L said,

 'Why are you rubbing your leg grandad?'

'Because it itches'

'Why does it itch'

'Because I have a gnat bite'

'What's a gnat?'

'The are little insects that bite you'

'Do you mean bed bugs?'

'No!!!! You don't get bed bugs these days'

'Why do bugs bite you then?'
'Because they like people with rich blood'

' I'm rich grandad, I've £80 in my savings account'

(Grandad took him out to he compost bin and took off the lid and showed him the fruit flies to explain the sort of flies he meant.  We didn't fancy him telling his mum and dad that grandad had been bitten by bed bugs!)


Friday 24 August 2012

I made myself a handbag this morning.........

I had a fabulous time making myself a handbag this morning.
My back is killing me from standing up so long working on it - and it's baking hot here today too!
It was an experiment - so it's not perfect!

And it was a bit complicated - I was a little rushed for time  - just over two hours.  
I have now bent the lime green wire on the handles so that it matches both sides, since the photo was taken and evened up the poppy seed heads too.

With the foliage and lavender from the garden, and a bunch of roses from the supermarket
It's not bad is it?

I think I like this side best and it was the easier of the two sides to make - just noticed that I didn't have time to put silver pins in the right hand side - I'll do that immediately.

So what did I used to make it?

Two blocks of oasis foam glued together with a heated glue gun
Aspidistera leaves
Eleagnus leaves - reversed
Foliage from the garden
Lavender from the garden
Crocosmia leaves plaited for the handles
A £2 bunch of roses from the supermarket
A packet of pins

Must dash - family arriving any minute


Wednesday 22 August 2012

Where have all the days gone?

Time is flying by and it's been a whirl of appointments, hard work up my quarter acre allotment, harvesting, cooking, filling the freezer for winter, oh and gardening, weeding, pruning, lawn mowing, cleaning chickens who are moulting making their run look like a feather duvet has burst - the list is endless.

But - on the music front I had my second lesson last Friday and another tomorrow - I am using both hands! (Badly)  I have had to cut my long nails shorter than they have ever been before - sigh - I guess a little sacrifice will be worth it in the end.

I actually went for an 'arty' day out on Sunday - to the Anglia Polymer Clay Guild - over the border into Suffolk - I know, brave aren't I!   So if you live in East Anglia and want to get together with like minded polymer clay enthusiasts - then that's the place to go.

Enid gave a super demo using acrylic inks on polymer clay - and the use of foil on polymer clay too.
 It was a great day out, and I met lots of new people, who share tips and knowlege generously
 There were some youngsters there too  - lots of concentration going on
Lots of  great makes displayed on the table, 
Here are just a few that caught my eye
All colours and styles
 And all made from polymer clay

 The work that has gone into this bracelet
and matching necklace!

The next meeting is in two months' time!
Get in touch if you fancy going - it's only £3 for the day.

Saturday 11 August 2012

Advice taken - regarding the altered box plus..........

I just wanted to thank everyone for their honest opinion of my art work - and especially regarding the box I altered.

I added a smidgen of gold rub and buff to the translucent polymer clay 'plaits' and it's made all the difference - so thanks for that.

I thought you might like to see my latest hobby!
At the ripe old age of 60 something, I have decided to have a go at something that I have always wanted to do -learn to play the piano. 

And yes - well spotted - this is a state of the art Yamaha keyboard - it's one that I have borrowed from the lady who is teaching me - but I have been lucky to find one, like new, on the Internet.
I had one lesson yesterday - and despite my bent fingers and on of my little ones which tucks under the next one - my tutor reckons that I will do well.

The hour was spent talking to me, explaining things about the keyboard, making a list of things I need to buy, and as she is convinced I will be able to play, I've bitten the bullet and bought the equipment!

I expect a lot of you must play something - or did at school - all that passed me by, so I am starting right from the beginning! How to read music - yikes.

I spent an hour in my garden studio where I have the keyboard - our home is too tiny to house it in here - and finally mastered the first page that I was given of a tune.  My homework was to learn the first line!

With no instructions with this one - I have been having a play, and found that it plays songs all on its own - so I can pretend!  It has a whole orchestra of instruments everything you can think of!  It'll be amazing if I can manage to bash out a recognisable tune!

So from now on, once a week, I'll be having a lesson - and maybe by Christmas I'll be able to play something to entertain my family or at least my grandson.  Or is that being too ambitious.

Little Luke is 6 and learning to play the guitar at school - we could form a group !

Thursday 9 August 2012

Flower Arranging

 I have joined a NAFAS flower club in a town near me. It meeets once a month and each meeting you get to watch a top flower arranger.  I was lucky to win the above flower arrangement in a raffle.  It's a big arrangement and as I live in a little bungalow I decided to make several small ones from it today.
 For this arrangement I used the green chrysanthemums, some yellow rubeckia flowers from my garden, and some fatsia leaves from a shrub I have, together with some of the foliage from the original arrangement.
 I need to add some red foliage to this orchid arrangement or red flowers to match the flower centres and enhance the beauty of the flower centres - it's a bit too green at the moment.
 I have made this for a new friend, who is going to attempt to teach me how to play a keyboard!
I have added flowers from my garden to the carnations, and included lavender, rosemary, ice plant, and fern.
It smells absolutely gorgeous!

I'm feeling pretty nervous at the prospect of my first lesson - 'trying to teach an old dog new tricks' proverb springs to mind!  And learning to read music - yikes.   It might be the shortest lesson in history!  But Coral reckons that she CAN teach me to play and that she is very patient - bless her - she'll need patience - watch this space!

Friday 3 August 2012

Polymer Clay Play

I decided that I like the process of messing about with 'stuff' but when it comes to assembling things like the trinket box (on the previous post) - I am just no good at it - yet.  I don't seem to have the 'vision' at the moment - but I'll keep practising. 

So in the meantime - I had another experimental evening yesterday making these.

 This is a faux wood experiment.  I used an art doll face mould and carved it about a bit.  And just gave it a coat of matt clay varnish.  I think it would make a nice knecklace or pendant.  I'll have to see if I have any beads to go with it - or make some.
Gold or silver chain if I make a necklace?

I am finding that playing with clay is very restful.  I love the feel of it - it's like messing about with plastercine!  I never have an idea of what I am going to do with it.
I just get out a lump of white sculpey, roll it around to condition it and then see what happens.
This is made by moulding, hacking (oops I mean artful carving lol) and the stamping of butterflies. Finished off with a light coat of acrylic paint, then a darker shading at the bottom, and sealed with polyclay sealant as before - for a matt finish.  It looks like a piece of pottery.

Another 'one off' to be put in a box and used at a later time.
That's another joy of clay - each piece is original - which I like. For good or bad there are never two the same!

Thursday 2 August 2012

Trinket box - and stuff!

I have achieved quite a lot since my last post - but the projects have had to be done in stages and left overnight, or 48 hours in some cases.
The above is a little bird made out of polymer clay, which I painted with iron Verday paint from Happy Daze  .  I left it to dry and painted it again with patina and left it for 48 hours.  I am amazing myself at my patience waiting 48 hours - but I am being very good and it's really worthwhile following the instructions to the letter!

It's a lousy photo of it - sorry for that - it's dreaful weather here - thunder and lightening.  The head, back and wings look like iron after I had given them a good rub - they come up a lovely metal iron grey.  I left the chest and underbelly rusty - I rather like the effect.  

Another thing that's been a long time in the making is this little wooden box - which I think I bought from Happy Daze a very long time ago in a set - but I can't remember.

I just love the crackle glaze projects and boxes that Ginger creates - if you click on her name it will take you to her blog and a fantastic box she has made for the Stampotique Design Team of which she is now a member.

I looked up on the internet instructions on how to  create the crackle effect using PVA glue and acrylic paint.  I followed it to the letter - but it didn't work for me - I got sludge which didn't dry after two days.  So I scraped it off, dried the remnants, sandpapered it, and did something completely different.

I made a textured paste covered box, painted it with two coats of acylic. Then I rubbed some rub and buff gold over it all to emphasise it, painted and rub and buffed some beads and stuck those on for feet - and left it all alone for another 24 hours.

 Painted the insides with matt black and stamped on some swirls, and added a lock.
I then set to, to decorate the lid.  I made some little roses out of translucent polymer clay.

I made some translucent 'sausages' and plaited them to make a bag handle and to decorate the bottom.  I also cut out a slab of polymer clay and decorated that.

Now here is where I need your imput.  Would the plaiting look better with a light touch of rub and buff gold - or is that overdoing it!  Also - do you think I should add some gold fleckle to the lid  to 'tie in' with the fleckle on the gold slab - or does it look ok as it is? 

++ edited to say that I have now smooshed a light coating of gold rub and buff one the plaited clay)

Whilst I was waiting for paint to dry, I just sat and daydreamed out of my studio's side window.

The sun came out and made the hollyhocks glow with colour - these are over six feet tall,
Five minutes later the rain came!