Monday 31 December 2012

In the deep midwinter at Happy Daze

Wow - I've just scraped in by the skin of my teeth for this months challenge over on Happy Daze

Had a very busy month with hospital appointments for dear Mr Lottie - so not much time to get to grips with December's theme - but I've done it!!!!!

I absolutely adore Jo Capper Sandon's stamps for Stampotique don't you?

This 'tiny owl' stamp sits on my shelf right in front of me above my computer.

 He always looks decidedly 'grumpy' to me in a cute way - and why shouldn't he,  he has been rather neglected of late.

I stamped him into polymer clay, and once baked, I painted him with water colours and tried to make the shape look like a thick slice of wood.

(You can buy Jo's Stampotique range of joyous stamps from Happy Daze of course!)
 Then on the reverse, I stamped him onto the baked clay, and then give little owl something to look grumpy about in the deep midwinter
 He looks especially cold in 'real life' as the snowy branch he is destined to sit on in cold days has a thick layer of snow, and both sides of the pendant have been preserved with Renaiisance Wax which give a really cold glistening shine to the  deep midwinter owl, but a lovely warm shiny glow to the autumn owl.

I am looking forward to see what the Happy Daze designers have in store for the January challenge.

Last night if December tonight  so I'll take this opportunity to wish you all a very healthy, and happy new year.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

What to do with a bit of wire and an hour of time


Mr Lottie can't go out on his own at the moment, so I went with him to another bowls match last night - in the freezing fog, through dark twisty country lanes.  Last week I took a thick book to read - but this week I took a book - plus 'emergency distractions'.  It's just as well I did.  Watching men playing bowls is just marginally more interesting than watching paint dry! 

I tried imaging them as the  Chippendales but it was just too difficult with men aged from their 70's to 80's - even though my dear husband did look rather similar to the chap on the far right of the photo on the link when he was in his prime!

The book I dashed to the village library to get yesterday afternoon wasn't much of a distraction either - especially as the chaps did like to stop and have a natter inbetween bowling - must be a bit boring even for them?  Or maybe it was because I was the only woman there. One cheeky old man even asked me if I was reading "50 Shades of Grey"  - I told him to wash his mouth with soap - and that was I reading a murder mystery!

Luckily I took a box with some jewellery tools, wire, and beads to have a go at making a bird's nest.

It takes 5 feet of wire for each nest, and three beads, and a lot of patience!

 Each nest is slightly smaller than the tiny English one penny!
They took an hour each to make.  The one is this photo is five to six times the size of the actual nest I made!
 I didn't have egg shaped beads only these tiny little pearls.  

I am not sure if I like the woven loop on this one - I might chop it off - I'll wait and see what it looks like on a chain or ribbon first.  You wouldn't believe that the background is a white sheet of paper would you - goodness knows why it turns blue when photographed

Mr L says that they don't look like birds eggs because they are shiny and need painting - he's not quite got the concept of imagination and jewellery.

Oh, I nearly forgot - I am sure that you are all on the edge of your seats to know how the bowls match went.
Hmm.  I wasn't the most favourite 'lady' as my mobile phone rang during the matches.  It never rings as it's only for emergency.  It's very very loud as I have a hearing loss and it's made especially for that.

40 grey heads swivelled towards me as I rummaged in my bag, grabbed my phone and dashed out!  It was my eldest son phoning as he'd been phoning home and there wasn't any answer and he was worried about MrL as one of us is always at home.  Bless him.  I did make him giggle when he asked why I was whispering and told him where I was and what happened!  

Mr L's team wasn't faring very well, the other team had some lucky breaks apparently so there were crossed arms and glum faces as he bowled the last wood (He's the Skip). to my end of the green.

And he worked a miracle - he whacked the others woods out of the way and got 5 points which won the game.  I forgot where I was, and did an involuntary impersonations of Andy Murray's mum at the Olympics.  I shook both clenched fists, jumped out of my seat, punched the air and shouted "Yessssss - Atta boy "  'That's my man!!!" And jumped up and down!!!   

I think that the man who asked me if I was reading "50 Shades of Grey" might have thought that I had been after all.  I got a few frowns and a lot of smiles and the very reserved players were rather shocked that the sedate game of bowls had an excited cheer leader at the end.   After the shaking of hands all round - there were big smiles from the winners, and Mr L - who's a bit deaf bless him - said, "Did you say anything when I bowled the winning shot?"   "Just a bit"  I replied - and told him on the way home of that and all the converastions  the old boys had had with me whilst waiting their turns to bowl.  From the techicalities of the match, to wives hobbies, crochet, childrens and grandchildrens hobbies and careers, the phone interluide, and my rather  over exuberant  out pouring of joy of my conquering hero.  His next match, God willing, is at the end of January, and they'll all have forgetten me by then!

I'll not posting until after the weekend - hope you all have a good one

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Fiddling around

Well I braved the freezing weather, and crunched through an inch of hailstones that had settled like snow on the paths - which still hasn't thawed out all day - and made it to the end of rhe garden to clean and tidy up my craft table in the studio after yesterday's play with my visitor.

I forgot to take photos of the lovely Japanese style tiles she made from polymer clay which she finished off by painting and experimenting with rub and buff - in gold and silver - which was a big hit!

Whilst clearing up I came across a few things I made some weeks ago - from scrap clay - just playing really, without any preconceived intention of creating anything.

 I made three tiny bird houses - I had to take these photos through my magnifer!
 I painted two of them today and varnished them.
 And turned them into little charms for a necklace or bracelet.
 It's such a dark day again today, that even under the magnifier light the photos are rubbish
 As I have mentioned before  - my creations are pure therapy so if anything turns out useable it's a bonus - but mostly it doesn't - it the relaxation of just messing around and day-dreaming - whilst looking out onto the garden and watching the birds and chickens playing around!
 These birds haven't been sanded or anything yet and I am not even sure that I'll ever use them.
They are the size of my thumbnail and I couldn't really see what I was doing when I made them, they are so tiny.  I might sand and paint this one - they've both got holes in through their backs to their tummies so will take a pin to make a bead.  If you could see how tiny the scrap of brown clay was you would have laughed!

Sunday 9 December 2012

Chilling out with polymer clay in cold weather

Another freezing and windy day - so  late afternoon,  I took myself off to the end of my garden for another relaxing play.
I have been clearing out my craft shed/studio and filled up boxes and boxes and bags and bags of arty crafty things, and toys and clothes (now that I have lost  a stone and a half in wieight - pause for applause LOL.)
And whilst clearing out shelves of books - I dare not say how many - I got distracted whilst deciding whether or not to send my hard back book of English Birds to Dr Barnardo's charity shop.

This is the result - both birds are exactly the same size even though the Bull Finch might look bigger!
 A male Red Backed Shrike - only a little bit of his back is red -the rest is coloured as above.  They are found in Norfolk, where I live.  I was rather pleased with his shiny eye and beak which I glossed before matt sealing the rest of his head and neck.
And this is a male Bull Finch I managed to get his colouring 'spot on' after several layers of painting and shading. He too is seen in many british gardens, especially if you put out nut feeders.  Again he has the most wonderful glossy eye which really looks like he's looking at you - and a great shiny beak.  Sadly the females of the bird species are remarkably dull - the opposite in the human species of course.

I can't decide whether to mount each one on a circle of polymer clay to turn them into pendants - or to make and paint a collection of them to mount and frame.

Saturday 8 December 2012

Creating Calm

There is quite a bit going on here at the momemt - and my head is spinning with all sorts of things, so I thought I would 'calm my mind' by going to the end of my garden (it's freezing cold) into my studio shed, whack up the heaters and try to 'get lost'.in play.

These are by no means works of art of any worth - but playing with polymer clay I find very  theraputic.  There is something about it that distracts me - the working of it with my hands, the soothing feel of it squishing it into a mould - a bit like dough, or real clay.
This is a Sculpy moulded face from a set I have, and 'she' has been squished about a bit,  stamped on with rubber leaf stamps to make impressions around her face.  Not sure how successful it's been - it looks like she is giving me the 'evil' eye - but that is the result of too much paint pooling under it!  The white dot is a pool of dried varnishing fluid - a hole for hanging her on something - but I might add a gem and use her flat. 
This is the result of another 'lost in play' piece.  I might just trim off all the surrounding clay just leaving the silver ingot in the middle.
Here is how he looks under a light bulb - very shiny - which I achieved by using rub on silver, then added a coat of wax.  The wax does give it a 'dulled down' kind of shine and adds more depth to it which I quite like.

It's a one off so I can't make another.  

I just might cut away the backing and add him to a thick piece of polymer clay and bake him again - then I can add a chunky bale at the back to turn him into a necklace.

Or I might not!

Thursday 6 December 2012

Pink Poppy Pendant

Today I finally managed to make the time to turn the lovely ceramic poppy in the previous post, into a pendant.
 It was so easy to create.  I just glued a silver bale onto the back.
Added some recycled vintage beads, and a leather thong and silver clasp.

It has such a vintage feel to it - and is the same colour of a Papaver Poppy  which I grew in my garden
this year - and the colour works perfectly with almost anything I wear.

Thank you so much Kay for the ceramic poppy - I'll treasure it!