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Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Stitched Postcard

Hi Everyone
Another very lazy day has happened - its almost as if I've no control over my destiny !!! The weather has not been great, so it's been nice to stay in and 'create'. I've taken ages looking for things and trying out ideas on my stitched postcard. Here are a few photos to share :

I coloured my doll and cut her out.

I thought she needed a pattern on her dress, so I matched up the background and gave her an 'overlay skirt'.
I've placed her on the 'mock up' postcard with some word ideas, although much of the next phase will be stitched.

The paper cloth has been dried overnight and ironed (not something I get too involved with). I've cut two pieces and will sew them together. This photo shows one of the faces of the postcard.

I'm hoping to complete my sewing part this evening and then some extra painting.
I've enjoyed doing this project and feel slightly guilty, I should have been preparing for our family holiday !!! The date for posting will be while we are away, so I need to finish it before we go. Sounds reasonable !
There's always tomorrow, for my holiday jobs !

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sketching Dolls

Hi Everyone
Another lovely day of sunshine and warmth !!! Just like holidays should be.
I've done very little of my planned day - yesterday's list will be the same as tomorrow ! Not sure how that happened ?
However, I've had a lovely day searching for ideas and making paper cloth and a little gardening.
I did manage a few photos and the stitched postcard project is underway - I'm happy with that. I've also done a brief sketch of a doll that will go on the postcard. Here are a few photos of the work done to date.

These photos show the beginnings and the end of the paper cloth process As you see it's drying (overnight) - I should be able to work with it tomorrow.
I was going to use this sketch for the doll ie the one without the legs.

But decided to draw another -

I hope to add colour and may copy it directly onto the paper cloth or stitch it on ? Not sure at the moment - will sleep on it. With that, I'm off to bed .
Bye for now.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Felting Talk

Hi Everyone
Great weather day today - bright and very warm. It's our second official day of the summer holidays and I'm concentrating on family and holidays things. We go away for 15 days at the end of the week, can't wait. I feel I need the break.
I'm hoping to get a range of sketching underway while on holiday. I always take lots of projects away with me and usually fail to do very much !!!!
This year, I'm going to be more focused and travel light. So a little thought needs to go into that today. I also need to get my 'stitched postcard' underway - my plan is there in outline and I need to make some paper cloth for the project - will get some photos of the process to share tomorrow.
I'm also going to review my blog today, so will tidy up any news or projects that have been missed.
We had a lovely (extended) family get together yesterday - at a local golf club. The event was a surprise for the boys (to celebrate the teenage birthday - still going strong after only a week - more to go) but I enjoyed it too. My brother reminded me that I hadn't completed a felted bird project ( from Christmas) - with this in mind I thought I may do this later this evening. Again, will take some photos of the process.
This is the bird project in Kirstie Allsopp CRAFT book.

As I looked through the book I did notice another project that I did complete and it sold in my shops. Below is my version (with a needle holder).

That's about it for today, will get to my ever increasing list of 'things to do' - its still a 'holiday day' ( in theory) !!!!

Bye for now.

Friday, 20 July 2012

End of term - at last !


Hi Everyone
Almost end of term and I'm slightly in that strange time between the end and the beginning. ITs not a sensation that I enjoy. I need to have a mini busy plan to divert my attention. I'm so tired too. Lots of extra things have been going on at the kids school and I've been full on with juggling work and home.
The weather is changing !! So we are told ? I'm yet to be convinced. As I look out of the window it's very cloudy and could rain any minute. Still I'm looking at a relaxing evening and a relaxed weekend. That's the plan !!! We all are suffering, a little, with some virus - probably tired too.
This week , I made some great tags for thank you gifts yesterday but forgot to take a photo. I liked them so much I'm going to make some for the shops. Will get some pictures up here as well as a step by step of how to make them.
This is a painting done by my eldest boy - its one of a series. He's so talented - all this years of making him paint (before he could walk) are paying off !!

Here is another great little piece of work. This one is from my younger son and has been in his file for some time. It first appears to be quite a simple, unsophisticated piece but when I look closely at each area of the work - it offers a great sense of 'life' and each character is unique, with a visual personality. I'm going to use the artworklater in the year. I love it.

I also came across a lady last week who keeps bees - she gave me this large piece of wax. I will melt it and use as a seal/top layer on some of my mixed media paintings. The result is a dreamy texture to the painting and is useful to combine / integrate 3 dimensional items which I sometimes include. I will post a picture when I use this wax to share the technique - a 'before, during and after'.

That's about it for now.

Bye for today.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


Hi Everyone
Just a brief note today - we have been tied up with our family birthday all day. We have a birthday cake and lots of mess but a great time too. Here is a quick look at the cake

It was 4 tiers high. Gold stars and filled with chocolate. Very filling to eat !!! Unless you are 13yrs old !

Bye for today.

Ps weather brilliant today - warm and sunny most of the day.

Monday, 16 July 2012

More cards

Hi Everyone
It's Monday again - can't quite believe how the weeks go by ! Weather is poor - not quite raining but I get the feeling it could rain any moment.
We have been spending the weekend rebuilding a small water feature in our garden.

As you can see there is a 'way to go' in terms of finishing and planting but it's working and ready for dressing. I will get onto it over the next week or so. It's a big improvement on the previous version. I don't have a photo but it's fair to say - 'a big' mess describes it well. I tend to look out at this view when I'm working so I feel, I want it to be pretty. The birds like it too, so I need to take their needs into account.
We also have another family birthday. A teenager !! Scary - again ,I'm reminded how time is flying by. It doesn't seem long since we brought him home - as a new born baby.
As a result of the birthday, I've been wrapping and making cards etc. Here is a quick look at the card I've done today.

I started with a purchased card ...............

and adapted it - then made it into a board type book ( without any pages). I joined the boards with a concertina hinge and added a real photo image of the teenager. Inside I placed a woodworm image (his favourite cricket stuff), with a length of grass (using a sizzix die) I also made an envelope to match. I'm quite pleased with it. Hope he likes it too.
My day is almost taken over now by birthday arrangements - more to do ! I need to make a tiered chocolate cake. Will get a few pictures. Back tomorrow.

Bye for now

Friday, 13 July 2012

More bracelets again !

Hi Everyone
What a transformation !! Today, the sun is shining - eventually. Not sure what's going to happen for the rest of the day but for now ( early morning) it's looking good.
Today, is also our school fair day. I'm off any minute to help organise it. Will be back later and will finish off today's blog with a report on any purchases.

I managed to spend all day at The Fair - so little time for anything else. The day was very busy and I'm feeling quite tired today, mainly due to many late nights. I'm aiming to get an early night tonight.

The Fair was a great success all round - the highlight for me was acquiring some new bracelets.

And here they are again worn together.

I love these simple bracelets - I have lots of them and wear them in various colour combinations every day. They are very simple to make - simply thread small beads (all the same bead type/colour) onto stretchy thread and tie. I usually add a little glue to the knot. This gives the join a little more stability when the bracelet is stretched each time it's put on or off. From my new collection, I particularly like the yellow ones.
I also won a cuddly toy, my youngest has claimed him - a cute little dog. I will get a picture of him to share tomorrow. That's it, off to sleep.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Raining cats and dogs !

Hi Everyone
It's raining again !!! .....but it's out of my control so I'm just living with it.
I've been doing volunteer stuff again. So ..... not much time for work this week. However, i'm still thinking about my stitch postcard - I think it will be on paper cloth (look back with a search - I talk about this stuff quite a bit) with some doll images and some stitching. I'm going to sketch out my design so will share when it's done.

I saw these little guys yesterday and have added them to my file of dogs - just for inspiration.I have a handmade book dedicated to dogs and cats.

Also saw this sausage dog - its an idea for a card but I like the simple head shape.

As you see my sausage dog is a bit different but I see how I can alter to interpret the card idea. Will give it a try. I need a few Thank You cards for teachers.
Bye for today

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Inspiration comes from everywhere !

Hi Everyone
Weather - guess ? It's raining. No more to be said.
I've been doing lots of volunteer stuff at my kids school this week. Not much time for much else. However, I've finished my watch packages

I need to do more envelopes but they are not needed for this week so will get on and finish over the next few days. I've prepped all the elements of the rest and just need to stick them.
I'm also very excited to have signed up for this project : THE GREAT BIG STITCHED.

I need to make a postcard with some stitching on it - anything else seems to be ok. The theme of this annual event this year is DISCOVERY. I've a few ideas but will give them a day to develop and then just get on. I know it appears to be a new project ( I promised myself not to start a new project until all my outstanding paintings were complete) but I'm hoping to use it to complete a piece I've already started and develop the piece for this project. Sounds convincing to me anyway.

Also wanted to share these lovely little dolls - they come from paperchase wrapping paper and I've used them as inspiration for extra images for one of my unfinished paintings. Will be working on my own dolls (versions of) later.

Here is another couple of inspiration items - a strange bunch of things but they will make sense when the painting is finished.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Packaging Continues

Hi Everyone
Another very wet start to the day. When will the rain go away ? - certainly not today.
On other matters - I spent a little time preparing the watch pockets - described in detail yesterday. I need to decide on a closure and am wondering if I have enough of the watch on show ? My initial plan was to have the packaging attract the customer but there is a balance between seeing the item itself. I think my solution is to make a pin board display with the pretty packets and a single watch open with a packet to dress the final sale.

I will develop an idea for the closure and then it's the bulk job and final display.
Am also doing more preparation for the school fair so am limited on my own stuff.
Bye for today.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Making Pretty Packages

Hi Everyone
Raining yet again ! Not too bad - when I look and hear about the devastation in other parts of the country. It's still rather disappointing - lets hope another week or so and then the sun will shine - just in time for the school summer break. It is mide July - I was expecting better weather by now.

I've had a busy weekend away with our boys on a family scout camp. Camping on a farm - lots of dirt and very wet ! Lovely. No more information required. We had great fun. Our home is now trying to recover from the trip - not there yet !

No work done for a few days. I have finished my card order - all bagged and ready to go.

I also have some packaging to create for some watches which will be sold at the school fair on Friday . It looks like I am going to be taken over with such activities all week. So far I've come up with a design and started the job. I thought I would share the process. Here is what I started with :

This picture shows a watch and my prototype design on a piece of scrap paper. My idea is the show the watch face through the hole and fold the paper to form an envelope.

Here is the folded paper showing the hole.

I've chosen to use pretty papers which I feel reflect the pretty style of the watch. This is a sample - a 6x6 ins paper.

Here are a few more paper designs with their holes. Ready for folding.

I've made some rings to line the holes (on the surface of the package) and strengthen the hole. I've used a sizzix tag a long machine. The dies are very thin so need a sizzix adapter.

That's as far as I've gone - I do know what I'm going to do and am hoping it will work. Watch this space. Will share the finished job tomorrow. I have 10 to do.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The making of a special card

Hi Everyone
It's a very strange atmosphere this morning - a little misty ,warm and very humid. We have a weather warning here - there is a huge rain storm heading our way ! Let's see how much rain we get !
I'm busy with my card order today and am pondering how to solve a design issue with one of them. Today, I thought I would share my development and production process as well as a look at some of the products I have used. I want to add a few metal embellishments to one of the cards - this is the particular card.

I've added the ribbon and have 'decoupaged' the apron and the pan lids. The original picture was in a hard copy in my studio. I scanned the image and added a few words in publishing software.
I want to add these items :

A couple of hearts brads ( to mimic baking tins) and and a few spoons. The problem is how to add them for a clean finish. I like to see the front and back of the card equally finished. My plan is to make a hole for the brad and add a circle on the inside with a sentiment written on it - not sure yet. I think the spoon will go on with a tiny glue spot.
I also wanted to bring the ribbon edging into the main image, so have made a few mini ribbons. I did have a small ribbon in blue - my original idea was to paint it red

Here it is, from the original blue into red. However, when placed on the card the impact is poor. So, I needed to make a similar bow with the exact red ribbon. My idea is to place it on the back of the apron. Will share how it looks when I try it out. Here are my efforts at making some bows for the job :

I decided a longer tail for the bow would look better for the apron.

This card has presented a few challenges in construction. I wanted simple clean lines for the ribbon. I've often failed to attach ribbons well. Sometimes, the ribbons detach themselves overnight because the glue is not good for the job. My solution this time was to use a Glue Dots product. I've had this stuff in my studio for a long time and not used it much. I'm really impressed with the results. It's a bit tricky to apply but the end result is good.

The results in close up is this :

As you can see I've added two layers of ribbon and the glue lines proved most suitable. No visible glue and it's been on display overnight and all seems to be intact. I finished the end with a small drop of pva glue ( just to stop the ribbon fraying). My chosen pva is this

I have used this brand for many years and it's ideal for all my jobs.
I also added a line of ribbon inside the card. Partially for interest but mainly because my printer has left an ink line on the inside. It's a long standing problem which requires a new printer (probably). It's a positive addition ( I think).

Will get on and share the end result before the end of the day.

Bye for now.