Tuesday, 3 March 2015

OPAM February - 2015

I got off to a good start in 2015 but February was taken up with other crafty things and a couple of birthdays but I am pretty pleased with this months makes.
I was surpirsed and plesed at how this hand painted heart turned out.  As a piece of flat fabric it did not look much until I attacked it with a black Sharpie pen and the sewing machine.
Plus my first little wall hanging in quite some time.
The rest of the month was spent also adding to my croceht blanket but it will be quite a while before that is completed.
Take care all.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

What about Mother's Day?

I have been spending some of the weekend adding to my website.  Now that Etsy have sorted out how to combat the issue of VAT and digital downloads I will now start to work on converting my many patterns and ideas into PDF's or paper copyies for purchase and a few for free.
The bunting template is back in the file at the top of this blog.
I have not yet finished adding items which might be ideal for Mothers Day gift ideas or even as a treat for yourself.  Some of these items were listed on Etsy but I decided to consolidate my shops 6 months ago.
I think that my Etsy shop will be for more digital items and that will take a little while to sort out.
I personally like handmade presents and I am even more pleased when someone does make me a gift as they are always so apologetic but someones time is valuable in today's life which can be so busy and hectic.
However, not all of us can or wish to make something so this is where handmade comes in.
I do have many of these items for my own use as a way of testing their usefulness.  No good looking pretty if it can not actually be used!
Some items listed are samples and there is nothing defective about them but I am being honest in that they were the first of the production line if you like.  I then make another in another fabric.
At the moment the cost of an item just covers the materials used no the time that it takes to make them.  I am still learning how to use a website and I do accept custom orders which do not always feature on the website but I do try to post about them on my blog.
I am also adding some items to reduce my stash as well and this will be indicated in the product titles.  I am trying to avoid Ebay and Etsy to keep costs down as i do not need to pay listing or purchase fees to keep and eye open for any fabric that I list of the coming weeks.
It does take ages and ages!

Hope you have all had a good weekend and email me if you have any questions about my website etc.
xx

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Art Journal Page - Blue

After creating my Blue ATC cards and I still had all of the materials out I thought another page in my Art journal would be a good next step.
A double page spread using the same shades of colour.  I stuck the pages together and put a blue watercolour wash on the background.  On the left hand side I added coloured tissue paper using decoupage glue and once dried i ran some blue oil pastels over the surface to show up the creases.
The lettering is cut out of thick blue craft paper and attached with tacky glue with white pen to look like stitching.
Behind the lettering i added some textured fabric and metal gauze.
On the opposite side I put a copy of one of the ATC cards which I transferred on to card and added behind that some more of the blue silk and metal gauze.
For the first time I added to text as well.
Around the edge I added some Aqua crayons which I did not add any water to but left looking a bit sketchy.
I am still not sure if the right hand page might need something else but then to clutter it up would perhaps detract from the overall appearance.
Not many more pages to go in this book and I have started another page which links to patterns.  I have not yet finished that so more on that another time.
xx

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Midori Travellers Journal

Last September I invested in a lovely purple Fauxdori made by the talented Ray Blake at My life all in one place.
My intention was that at some point I would buy a proper Midori Travellers notebook in the Passport size.  Last weekend I found that I had some Paypal money from selling and de-stashing some of my fabric etc so I decided to go for it.
It arrived well packaged and once I had removed the bubble envelope I found this package in cellophane.  The above is a lovely thick card package with an elastic strap which I shall use as a spare Midori strap.
 Inside this there was the paper label for the Travellers Notebook, instruction sheet and an orange elastic strap.  The Notebook itself was in a thin cotton bag which is a novel idea and made me think that my Fauxdori could do with one when I take it away with me, like last week.
Little cotton bag with small grip tab.
I tried to get a good photograph of the colour and I decided to go with the Brown.  At the moment it has a brown elastic strap and I might add leather attachment to match my purple fauxdori, I will let you know what I decide to do. 
I would like to start using it straight away so I did include the card and zipper pocket to put paper, labels etc in as there are no other pockets.
There is a plain paged notebook with a burgundy cover.
I want to add something here on the front inner cover but I have not worked out what just yet.  Possibly just part of a postcard or may be a small photograph.
Lovely creamy paper.  I want to make my own books to go in here but it comes with one and I shall use this for ideas, blog post planning, website items to list etc.
When I ordered this I was visiting my SIL and in the past I have purchased some cute mini post it notes from the branch of Clinton Cards in Seaford.  They have not had them there for nearly 2 years but on the spur of the moment on our last day I popped in and found these.
The above are to replace the ones that I had used up.  These will be used in my work planner.
I also found these labels which are also quite small for adding to a journal.
Shaped novelty stickers which I have not seen before.
Plus these mini stamps which I thought I could use in my work planner, journal and on letters or cards too.

Also this mini notebook which I thought I could take the pages out of and sticking on to my Midori pages.
I now need to have a little think about what i want to do next with it.  I do know what it will not a an art journal as such but more of an ideas book which I can update and replace with new notebooks as i use them up.  I intend making these or buying ready made note books and cutting them to size.
Hope your week is going well.  Only two problems at work this week which is enough but thankfully Friday tomorrow then a couple of days to re-charge the batteries.
Take care.

Monday, 23 February 2015

ATC - Colour Me Blue

Before we went away for a few days last week I needed to make some ATC cards for the February challenge with Blissfull ATC Swaps.
I added colour to some cards using Aqua crayons and then dribbled water to make the colour run.
I love using these and they look great on cotton fabric.
Once the colour had dried I looked at them and I could "see" trees in each of the blots left behind.  So I decided to go with it and see what happened.  The above card has tissue paper and machine stitching in the foreground.  White pen and watercolours to give a type of blue wood scene.
This ATC has machine stitching on the tree trunk and grass in the foreground.  More pen used in this design and the white pen enhanced the branches.  I did use a slightly darker pen on this card as well due to the quite light colour when it dried.  I could see that tree though.
With this ATC I added some pale blue mulberry paper on the top of the tree to add some variety but to also increase the texture with this design.
More free machine stitching and watercolour paints.
These ATC's are very very different to what I usually do and all the while I was making them I really liked them but I was also worried that they would turn out awful.  I made them all at the same time try and make them link more in appearance.
They remind me of book illustrations where the woods or forrest's are given a colour scheme to add to the story.  Such as a cold, snowy wood.  Am I making sense here?  Possibly not and I have just looked through some of my daughters books to find an example but I have not been able to track one down quickly.  Typical.
Anyway, I hope that you like them and more importantly, I hope that my swap partner likes them as they are on their way to America!
Not sure if I shall enter next month as March is a pretty hectic month.  I did follow this up with a journal page as well which I shall save for tomorrow.
Have a lovely evening and take care, weather is pretty wild in the UK at the moment.
xx

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Brisk Walk and Photographs


Sophie had a Geography test before half term and there was a question about what was the Seven Sisters.  Sophie  was the only person in her group who knew what it was.
So one of the To Do's during our visit was to go and visit the Seven Sister's in a position where we could take some photographs.
A very cold but sunny day and we stood on the cliffs and waited for the clouds to move and the sun to peek out.
It has been raining really heavily over the past few days and we managed to pick one of the muddiest paths.  Should have known considering there was no one else about!
The one we walked along was much worse than this but it is on my camera and as promised I am using my Samsung to blog with.
Sophie took lots of pictures from which she can select some to take into school on Monday.
A lovely day and this was topped off with a trip to Lewes on the way back.
Travelling back tomorrow but we have provisionally been pencilled in to visit in the Summer.
Something to look forward to.
xx

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Crochet Blanket - Starting to Join together.

I am visiting my sister  in  law at Seaford and trying out my Samsung for posting.
Due to getting here by train Sophie and I were  limited to what we could carry.  So I  decided to make up some squares and just take the black wool to finish the edge and join together. 
This worked out well and I went from 5 completed and joined squares to 16.
T
I did have a lot of ends to stitch in and it is a pity that we do not have a gerbil  or hamster as this would have made good bedding.
It is much bigger than the above picture shows as I added more.  I need to take another picture.
I have also brought my crochet hook travel pouch which holds everything I need and it does not take up much room in my holdall.
There you go..... miss counted too, it is actually 16 squares and I have used up all of the ones that I brought with me.  However I can see what it could look like and now I just need to decide how many squares I want to make it.
I do want to use up as much of the wool as I can to joining as I go will help plus keeping it even on all sides in case I gave to suddenly stop.
After this I really must try something else but I keep being given drawn back to the cheerful little Granny Square's! 
Have a lovely evening.
We are hopefully off out tomorrow and brave the weather which has taken a turn and I shall take my Samsung and take some pictures and see how it goes as it us very different to my camera,  possibly not as clear but half the fun is experimenting with it.
Take care all.
xx 
P'S
I had 350th page view's yesterday and no comments, please say hello so that I do not think I am completely mad and on my own. 
They are appreciated and I try to reply to them all.
xx
Sausage and Mash for tea..yum!





Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Print Class - Etching

I want to go back to the Samsung post I put up today to explain the Dragon Fly image.
Last week we had a session on Etch Printing and the previous weeks wood carving turned out OK (not posted about those yet) but I was a little disappointed with the design I had created.  I felt that in the end it was a little "safe".
So when we were told we would be creating and Etch design on a piece of A6 aluminium I decided I  wanted to try something more.
I have been given a birthday card with some painted Dragon flies on it and thought....Yes!
Aluminium Plate (Copyright Indigoblue)
The plate is warmed on a hotplate and whilst it is there hardground is added to the surface and spread out using a roller.
Then using a scribe we added out chosen design fee hand.
I decided to base my idea on this card but arranged it as I wanted to and tried to use as much of the plate as possible.  The hardground is brown so as you scratch in the design the silver aluminium shows through so it is much easier to see.
Once the design is complete gloves are then put on so that the plate can be carefully added to a tray of mordant with will etch away the exposed aluminium and leave the areas where the Hardground is still covering the metal.
It is quite fascinating to watch and we could see why the gloves were needed.
You can see the finished plate above.  What I also like about these plates and that of the Intaglio we did last term, is that you can re-use them and you have a record of your work.
Clear print on Fabriano paper
I then created a series of prints using Fabriano paper which needs to be soaked and dried first before putting through the roller press.
Brown parcel paper
I did try one on brown paper which did come out a bit pale.  I was told I should have soaked the paper but I thought being much thinner, that this paper would fall apart.  Well I have decided to try and add some paint to this one and see what I can do to improve it.
A little darker with this print.
Each print comes out slightly different even though you think you are doing the same thing every time.  I have yet to lay the paper straight on the plate each time although I think it moves a bit when it goes through the press!  I really like these and they have more content that my wood cuts which roved to be easier to carve then I was expecting.  I would like to try again with that if I can find some wood from a fruit tree. 
I have really enjoyed this course and I have learnt so much.  I wish I could afford to give up work and go back to college!!  Do you think my Hubby would notice?
xx


Monday, 16 February 2015

posting with a Samsung Tablet

I have a small Samsung t
ablet which came with my phone last summer.  Has anyone tried putting posts on to blogger using one.  It is a handy little size for travelling with put but I  have found that most of the functions that the chap in the shop said it would do the tablet does not like doing.  Forget about any to and fro of documents, files, or anything useful. It will not open any text files as I thought I could use it for some work related items without taking a large bag on the train.  Excellent for reading an ibook and YouTube but that is about it.  I am trying it out with this post but I  can't  actually see what I am typing due to the keyblard taking up most of the visual space.  I can not upload any pics either Any advice would be great and I shall  head over to  YouTube and  see if there  are any  clues  there.
Would be nice to use it more.
I shall have another quick try with a picture.   Here goes. .....
Well this has appeared  but I had to take the picture with the camera and upload directly rather than going via my photo library and I can rotate it. A bit of progress though.   I shall explain what the picture is later today with another post.
I shall try another ......
A level sample.
Yippee!   It must be the power of bloggers reading this.  This is from the images section On my tablet.
Last time to try and get one from the photo album.....

Okay,  now I feel an idiot... honestly I have been trying to get posts with pictures on my blog using this mini tablet for ages.  It has a spell check on here as well which I like.
I have just downloaded photo editor which might give me more options.
I am now going to post this and see how it looks on my laptop.
Sophie and I are off on a little trip later this week, hence the reason for wanting to take the Samsung galaxy and not my laptop.
ready, steady, post.......has it worked?  
Off to check. Back later with a more crafty offering.
xx


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Valentines and Paper Heart chain.

For the past 25 odd years hubby and I have always given something on Valentines Day.  When were students it might be swapping one of his nice shirts (which had shrunk in the wash) for soemthing I had made for him.
Flash forward and we still sometimes do the above  but this year I had an idea and so did he.
So this morning these came out of the garage and he was lucky that I had not gone in their last night as the tumble dryer is in the garage!
Lovely aren't they?
I am not a flower arranger at all but I think I did an acceptable job using my posh Ikea vase!
I still love those kitchen tiles.
Anyway....my beloved handbag which I bought in Florence Italy some years ago has a strap which is about to break in the worst place possible as I can not fix it but I saw this one.................
and Hubby suggested that he would give this to me.  So I ordered and paid for it on the internet and it was not until I had pressed SEND that I realised Ihad bought my own gift but that has since beensorted out.  Well we have ben married for 16 years so not everything has to be a completed surprise as I was not expecting the flowers.
Cute card which I think are hard to find in shops.
Several weeks ago Sophie and I had a card making session and I made Hubby's card.
I used a Borther E-Touch embroidery  gadget (noe obselete) and watercolour paints.
I decided to go for a blue theme this year.
I took some cards in to work this year and sold quite a few and I might use that to buy some printing ink but more on that another time.
I also found on Amazon anothe Guy Martin book and hubby has enjoyed two previous books by this chap.
I had a quick look through it before I wrapped it up and it looks pretty good.  Hubby likes that sort of thing.
Sophie has had a friend to sleepover and we have just taken her home.  It is Fajita's for tea then some time on the crochet blanket and tweaking of the website in time for Mother's Day.
Paper Heart Chain Tutorial
I made some of these with my textiles group as couple of sessions ago and Sophie showed her friend how to make these chains.  They are nothing new and I found the idea on the internet so I will not take the credit but I will add them to the Special Ocassion section at the top of this blog.
Hope you have all had a great day!
xx


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