Friday 30 November 2012

Button Floozies

 I recently joined in a 'button' swap on UK Stampers Forum

The above were made by Kay of Toddles & Binks. which are made from ceramic clay
 She also made these poppies
 Aren't they amazing?  As they are large I am turning them into pendants.
 This one is big too - so that's destined to be another pendant.
It is made by  Christine from polymer clay as are all the rest
 I adore these dinkie little flower buttons by Sam - I think they might work on a bracelet.
And look at all these  from Lynn (I love the stamped and metallic look and Pat - aren't they lovely!

Wednesday 21 November 2012

More present ideas from Happy Daze

Have you seen these fabulous aprons on the Happy Daze website?

 I was looking for some ideas for birthday and Christmas presents and found this apron.
Just the thing for an adult - male or female - who's into crafting or baking etc.  I bought one and was absolutely amazed at the super quality - really thick and strong and very well made.
Apologies for having to photograph this on a blanket but it was the best way to get a photo.

Looking down on it, I thought how nice it would be to decorate it in some way and turn it into an original!   I hunted through my old books and came across a large paper back which I have  had for over 40 years.  It's a book on how to paint Chinese Style, and has some wonderful step by step images in it.  "Ping" a lightbulb moment - instead of painting on the apron I decided to do an image transfer.  Image transfer papers are easy to find on the web.  You need one for transferring an image onto material that you can wash.

 I chose this example of one of the paintings - printed it onto the A4 transfer paper, then trimmed out the parts I wanted.
 You print on the plain side of the paper (obviously) then choose where on the apron you want the image and then iron on the hot setting for a short time  (you will get the exact timing instructions with the paper) over the back of it.  In this case just a minute, then peel off the backing paper.  (I have peeled back a corner to show you.)
 I chose to have the image across the pocket - so the little bird in peeking into it.
 The apron is just brilliant -  there are no chunky seams where the apron strings are attached - just one long strip that is threaded through either side and right around the neck - so you can adjust the length to fit every height!
Sorry about the model, she hung the apron loose so that you can see what it looks like on!

The texture of the image is smooth feeling, like those you get on tee shirts - so you get a perfect reproduction of the image you choose.

Think of all the possibilities.  You could personalise it, by stamping on the image transfer paper directly, or why not scan some of your artwork you've made and print it out on the paper, or even a favourite photo.

Go on  - give it a try and create a totally original gift for someone special.

Thank  you so very much for visiting and commenting on my 'efforts' for this months' theme.
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the challenge.

I have been looking at your blogs seeing your brilliant 'Brighten up the month' entries, and apologise for not leaving comments as I would normally do - due to a family health emergency - but rest assured I'll keep visiting.

Good luck in the draw!

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Back to beads

It's been dull and wet and cold for a couple of days, so I had a go at doing some beading.
 The hearts are really beautiful amber glass.
 With whirls of shades of green and orange and gold
 Some of which are reflected in the shades of green glass beads each side.
It's such a dark day that I just can't get any decent photos.
Never mind.

Today I made  a pair of earrings and a bracelet to make a complete set.

They do look nice on, and will go with any outfit.

Tomorrow I have  booked myself a 'wiring' lesson for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

I'll be back to show you the results.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Sneak preview of my last project for Happy Daze

My last project for Happy Daze Guest Designer of the month slot

Another very easy present idea  - no glue, no paint, no mess!
It is so easy to do - and you can't fail to produce a very very professional result!

I hope that you'll pop over on Wednesday 21st November to have a look.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Brighten up the month with Verday for Happy Daze

Going with this month's Happy Daze theme of 'Brighten up the month', I decided to do it with Verday paints and Patina which you can buy here.

I have Paula Whittaker to thank for the inspiration which I took from a card I received from her which is featured in the frame.  It is Roman inspired.  Unfortunately I couldn't get a frame to fit the   6"x6" card which was a bit wider - but I could fit most of it in this frame.  I loved her vintage colouring and tried to replicate it.

I made my own mould of Roman relics from polymer clay which you can buy here.  I don't think air dry polymer clay will work for this - purely for the durability you need for this project.
As you can see (I hope) this is a fragment showing a Roman ladies head.

After baking the moulded fragments, they had a coat of Verday paint (I'll just show you one)
 I painted one coat of Verday paint on the outer fragment
 Then the next day I painted another and whilst wet added the Verday patina coat to the outside.
Then painted the roman head.

I left the heads to dry for a couple of days, then buffed them up, glueing them to the frame once I had finished it.

A plain wooden picture frame was first painted with texture paint.  When dry I painted a layer of pale blues.  The darker blues are Verday paint that has had the patina treatment, and of course the metallic colours not only mirror those of the 'metal fragments' but also the colour of Paula's framed card.

Sorry for the differences in the lighting and colours - it's my photography.  I bought a photo tent to try and get a better picture - the bottom image - but it really didn't work as it bleached out the colours somewhat.  The true colours are those of the other photos.

I hope that I have inspired you to have a go with the magical Verday paints - they are great fun and you can let your imagination run riot and create truly one off original works of art.

Sunday 11 November 2012

A sneak peek of what's coming on Happy Daze

I thought I would give you a sneaky peek on what I have created for the Happy Daze blog for Wednesday 14th on my guest designer spot!
I hope that you will pay a visit to see the whole project.
I'd really appreciate it.
Thank  you.

Thursday 8 November 2012

Just a box......

I have been getting back into the crafting mode lately - spurred on by the need to make some things for this month's challenge on Happy Daze.

After another rummage around in long forgotten stash under my desk, I discovered a box.
It's about 6"x 6" and it had a sale sticker on it - so it must have been a bargain as I wouldn't have normally bought it.  But it obviously has come in handy as I thought it might!

It is really strong and sturdy and seamless, making it easy to work with.

I painted it with blue metallic acrylic paint - just a cheap tube from a supermarket - and just had enough left to cover the complete box, as it's my grandson's favourite colour!

It took two coats to cover it but I felt that it needed a bit of oomph so I found some silver rub and buff which hasn't seen daylight for years, and did just that - put some on my finger and rubbed, then buffed it.   Silly me didn't take photos of the sides, but as they looked plain, I used silver paint to stamp a swirl on each side and rub and buffed silver on all the corners and edges.

The image is one from a Crafty Individuals book - again something I have had for years, and it was the perfect fit for the aperture in the lid.  I sandwiched the glossy image between transparent plastic sheets cut to size - just to finish it off.

What do you think - would it be good enough to use to put some goodies in for a birthday present?

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Paint Brush Bucket for Happy Daze

I am this months guest 'Designer' for Happy Daze
I know what you are thinking, and I thought that too when they asked me.
But it's great to be invited to create three items to brighten up the month - and it just proves that someone like me, who can't make a card for toffee, and who is definitely not a designer in any way can be picked.  They really do look at your blogs when you join in the challenges.

 I have been 'rummaging around' the Happy Daze shop looking for something different for Christmas presents, and I was not disappointed.
I've found something that will be great for children and adults.
It's lined with plastic so it can hold water,  
It packs flat so it's cheap to post!
It's  brilliant - so much so you'll want to buy one for yourself too!
It's a collapsable Paint Brush Bucket!
I've found different uses for mine - but first I decided to personalise it.
I stamped on two of the sides using brown acrylic paint.
 I've never tried doing that before so I was a bit apprehensive - but it was easy.
I spread brown paint on a washable flat surface, then just gently tapped the stamps on it, checking that the stamps have an even covering.  If you put too much paint on your stamp on your first attempt, don't be tempted to use it - just wipe the stamp clean, and try again; if it is too thick and gloopy you won't get a clear image, and clean your stamp/s as soon as you have stamped  your images as paint dries quickly and  you might not get it properly clean if you leave it.
 Leave the bag to dry properly, then colour you image in. 
 I have multi uses for mine.  As you can see, its holds lots of paintbrushes.  I have a number of very tall ones too, so decided to make the most of the bag by storing everything in one place.
This is one of those big chilli con carne tins which I have covered.
 I was looking through my old ATC collection for inspiration, and realised that those little works of art hardly ever see daylight!
 So I scanned some into the computer and printed them off and used them to decorate the tin, which fits nicely into the middle of the Paint Brush Bucket
 This is great as it holds my watercolour pencils too! All neat and in one place.  I'll be getting another for my colouring pencils, Promarker pens, and water colour crayons.
When I am ready to paint I just lift out the pot of paintbrushes, and pop in a lidded jam jar full of water or a big yoghurt pot!  There are so many other uses: for all my polymer clay tools - they'll be near to hand and tidy on my desk ready to use,  instead of hidden away in a drawer, ditto my jewellery making tools, colouring pencils etc

More ideas...... decorate one very girly with pretty stamped images, add embellishments, flowers etc. and do the same for a boy with another colour.  Add a name tag too to presonalise it.  If you don't have time to personalise one - just buy some for presents.  They are so cool and great for arty crafty friends and children
Am I allowed to say how much they are?
£3.80  I'm not being a 'cheapskate' but they do make really lovely presents - for adults and children alike!  What a bargain!

Yes, with Happy Daze, you sure can brighten up the month, and make birthday and Christmas presents at the same time!

Go on, give it a go, and do send me a link as I would love to see what you create.

And thanks so much for looking - and if I can do something anyone can - so all my three 'makes' are easy peasy.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Brighten up the month - Happy Daze Challenge

Over on the HAPPY DAZE design team blog the challenge this month is to brighten up the month!
The art work posted already this month has got me rising to the challenge.
I don't 'do' paper stuff - I really struggle with it but I've had a go.
 I'll probably put some paper money in these for Birthday or Christmas presents

 The sentiment stamp is an old TH one

Here is the template I created for these
It's 7.5 inches wide and 5 inches high for the wallet, and I used the button on the tag for the template  for the 'pull out' hole.
I used cereal box cardboard to glue the template on to - it's nice and sturdy to draw around.

And there is just one more

I have just been experimenting with these

Very easy.  I think I should put a bit of black ink on the gold trim - it looks a bit glarey!

Saturday 3 November 2012

Work in progress - which didn't progress sadly

Remember I told you about my disaster a few posts ago?  Well I thought I would show you just a few of the items that had to be binned.

 I bought this charm ages ago and found it in my stash so took a mould from it and created some pendants from it by adding a back disc.
Here are some more I made in their naked state!

The top left Egyptian I created from part of a brass hollow disc just using a piece of the head, and mounting  it on a texturised piece of polymer clay. The daisies were mounted on texturised clay too.  The little bird I had painted yellow and turned it onto a canary - I was sad to see that go.  There is a Welsh Lion / Griffin? which I moulded from a very old metal button - think it might be military, I found it in my button box.  The Japanese symbol started life as a foam stamp and I stamped into clay, baked then took a mould from - and mounted - that was so fiddly and  I dare not tell you how long it took me to achieve that - because the parts just kept falling off or bending etc.   I won't be doing that one again.  But I'll probably have another go at the others.  There are a few of the flower ones in the previous post - but they are rejects.  They had patina spilled over them, and I tried to wipe it off but wiped off the paint too in the process.

At least you know that I haven't been idle!

Friday 2 November 2012

Earrings and pendant from polymer clay

 Since I have waxed, sanded, and polished the polymer clay yesterday, they have been almost impossible to photograph as they just reflect the lightl
And as you can see  - they are bleached of colour and you can't see the patterns - but in real life they are still the lovely colours they were before, and the beads I have added are metallic - a green base and when the light hits them they have a metallic shimmer of the same colours of the canework - purples, pinks, and green.

Thursday 1 November 2012

A bit of sanding and waxing makes a huge difference

What a difference a rubbing with sandpapers and a wax and polish make......
Quite a bit to polymer clay.
 In fact quite a lot!
 The daisy like flowers are not waxed and were an experiment
I think all the effort was worth it though.