Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Baby Love

This week I downloaded the sweetest embroidery pattern from Urban Threads, master of disguise. Do you like it? I thought it would look good appliqued onto a baby bodysuit I'd recently bought as part of a gift I'm making. I quite fancy one on a T-shirt myself.
I'm glad I did this little bit of sewing as it prompted me to finish a pair of fabric baby shoes that I started making weeks ago.

I think they make a sweet gift together

And to go with them I knitted a matching heart decoration

.........And last but definitely not least a thank you card made for me to say thank you for my part in the hello kitty cushion creation. Designed and made all on her own - a crafter in the making I think :-)

Friday, 27 August 2010

4 on Friday (5)

Another week passes without any scrapping completed but it's still been a creative week. I really liked the photo mosaic I created a few weeks ago for 4 on Friday instead of a layout so I thought I'd try it again.

The first photo is of my attempt at making mini pistachio macaroons . I didn't just make one - this one just happens to be the most photogenic and even then it doesn't look great but they taste pretty nice with a chocolate filling. I don't think I ground my pistachios fine enough but we live and learn. I felt inspired after watching The Great British Bake Off which features the fabulous Paul Hollywood. (He makes the most fantastic bread and we are lucky enough to have him selling it at our local farmers market.) I've been wanting to try and make this type of macaroon for a while after finding out about Laduree How I'd love to visit one of their shops. I think I need to investigate more recipes and techniques and give it another go. Either that or stick to my simpler fail safe recipe which is a traditional type of macaroon.

Next up some flowers I made from offcuts of fabric including organza and satin. Have you seen these types flowers? You have to heat the edges near a naked flame which burns and seals them without setting fire to them! Not easy and I don't really recommend it but I like how these turned out.

My own sewing project was interupted by helping a small person with theirs so the sewing project I was going to share this week has been slightly delayed but all in a good cause. The little lady in question required a cover made for a cushion she needs for her new school. She had very strong views about what was going to feature on her cushion and Hello Kitty won the day. I appliqued some felt which I happened to have in just the right colours.

....and lastly my own kitty, one elderly, grumpy, deaf cat called Fergus but you've got to love him :-)

Monday, 23 August 2010

She Sells Sea Shells.....

..... on the sea shore - My August tags for the swap on UKS

I made two designs using images from Marsha Jorgensen of Tumble Fish Studio and a free stamp that came with Craft Stamper. I've certainly got my moneys worth from these collage images :-) Remember the pen and ink I bought recently I used them to write the 'she sells' bit. I have to say it's perfect for using over paint techniques like the background I created for these tags. Some jute string threaded through the bottom for a bit of texture and interest and you can't beat a bit of bunting. I practised with my pen again in creating this spider's web background for the gothic cute image from tiddlyinks. The background paper has also been inked and distressed. I'm not expert at colouring hair on digi images but I used a black copic for this one and it seems a bit easier than using promarkers I think it must be the longer brush tip. I really love these gothic cute images and plan to make more cards, maybe next time I'll try a hand stitched web.
If you're a fan of unusual gothic designs then visit Urban Threads they have lots of embroidery designs to choose from as well as digital stock art. I'm currently stitching a design which I'm going to make into a cushion cover. More on that later.......

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Knit a little love

I enjoy a bit of knitting although I am by no means expert. However I have found that even my limited skills can do a bit of good sometimes. Earlier in the year Helen put out the call to all her crafty friends for donations of knitted........well anything warm really to help children in a community she had visited in developing area of the world. I thought 'I can do that' so out came my knitting needles and I knitted up a few hats a pairs of mittens. These hats are on a somewhat smaller scale but don't let their size fool you, they are still capable of doing lots of good. You may recognise the bottle, yes it's an Innocent drink. For the last couple of years I've taken part in the Big Knit. These little hats top bottles of innocent which are sold through Sainsburys and for every bottle sold a donation is made. Since the scheme started £622,620 has been raised - that's a lot of hats! This year the money raised goes to Age Concern and Help the Aged.
I even got my Mum knitting too. These are some berry hats she made. This year if you visit the website you can get a watermelon pattern and a pineapple too.

This is the latest knitting project I'm taking part in The Big Stitch in aid of The Children's Society. I'm going to ask for donations and in return someone will be able to choose a hand knitted heart.They will all come with their own label and so far I've made them into brooches, key rings or simple hanging hearts.

So if you fancy doing some knitting for a good cause why not visit the Big Stitch or the Big Knit

I'm also hoping to update my website and I'm busy preparing some new items and this knitted heart cushion is just one of them.

...... and remember the sewing project I told you about well this is it. I was asked to make a couple of capelets out of a velvet and satin wrap. Yeah! I can do that. I very nearly changed my mind once I'd started sewing the fabrics were definitely not the easiest to deal with. But I'm happy with the way they turned out especially as I didn't have a pattern.

Happy knitting

Monday, 16 August 2010

Chicken Soup Recipe #7

Here is a card I made inspired by the latest recipe at Chicken Soup. The inspiration was provided by an illustration of the children's story The Princess and the Pea. I thought this image by Marsha Jorgensen of the Tumble Fish Studio was perfect for lazing on top my layered scraps. I added a few strips of ribbon too and stamped the sentiment. I don't think I'll be doing much lazing around in the sun as it hasn't made an appearance for a few days and today feels most Autumnal - think wet and windy. Maybe that's why my thoughts have turned to knitting..........I'll be back later in the week to share more on that and a little sewing project I volunteered for :-)

Friday, 13 August 2010

4 on Friday (3)

I'm just in time to share my 4 on Friday and this week it's a layout. I wasn't sure I'd get around to it but after a bit of crafting time this afternoon I produced this.......... I used the same basic template idea provided by Alexa but today the design just didn't want to come together - I'm still not happy with it. I think I need to get back in the scrapping habit. I'm sorry if the image looks a little wonky I took so long dithering the light wasn't good enough to take a photo by the time I'd finished so I had to scan it. I altered the proportions of the photos at the bottom of the layout and leaving the bit of white space next to the top photo resisted the temptation to add something - a slight nod to 'simple' ;-)
...........and last time I was here I promised you some cake so help yourself to a slice of banana cake and go check out Alexa's fantastic digital layout this week :-)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Chocolate Orange

This weeks challenge at Cupcake Inspirations inspired me to make this......... You don't have to include a cupcake in your design but it just so happens that I acquired this new digital stamp from Tiddly Inks this week. She is Cheery Q from the Curly Q's set of images. The cupcake inspiration is a wonderful cupcake with pale orange frosting and a chocolate brown lace bow decoration. mmmmmm........ chocolate orange - which reminds me I haven't made chocolate orange muffins for a while, a yummy reciped kindly provided by Sonja. Maybe some baking is in order this week I spotted a very tasty looking banana cake recipe yesterday that I want to give a whirl.

Sorry back to the card ..... the background is cardstock by Coredinations from the appropriately named chocolate box stack. This one has an orange core which I sanded after embossing with the cuttlebug swiss dots folder. To include the lace theme I pleated some around the edge of my image and added some to the bottom of my card.

See you later in the week you never know I may even have some cake for you :-)

Friday, 6 August 2010

4 on Friday (2)

Do you remember last Friday? I posted a layout inspired by Alexa's 4 on Friday idea and tried to scrap 'simple'. This week seems to have passed in a blur and before I knew it, it was Friday again and I hadn't done any scrapping. So, I had a brainwave this morning - why didn't I create a mosaic featuring some of my favourite things of the week. Well, it seemed a simple idea and I thought I'll have it done in no time..........it took a little longer than I imagined but here it is. As it's in 4 on Friday format and I might just make a proper layout using it. Choosing favourite things isn't compulsory it just so happens that my two weeks to date seem to feature 'favourites'. The first photo is of a glass collection that a friend made for me. It took 3 months for him to collect all the tiny pieces of sea tumbled glass from the beach and carefully stacked them in the glass vase. I love it and only wish my photo could do it justice.

Photo number 2 features my new pen and ink. I bought them to experiment with writing on my art journal pages. I'm going to practice with my round number 3 nib and try not to get in a mess, they're not the best thing for a left hander. If you want to be inspired visit Martha Lever as her calligraphy art journal pages are amazing.

I've spent some happy moments this week perusing the book shelves of second hand shops and these are a few of my bargains of the week. If I can bear to tear it up Laurie's Gardening Encyclopedia will be appearing in future projects and I'd love to make a handmade book after seeing some of the beautiful examples in this book. The other book is all about The Pre-Raphaelites.

The final photo is of the grapes growing in my garden. There are loads I just hope they ripen as we want to try and make wine again. We haven't quite perfected the technique so any tips gratefully received.

So there you have it - my 4 on Friday.

....... and I couldn't go without sharing another favourite of the week a selection of tags from a swap over on UKS that I mentioned in a previous post.
Have a good weekend :-)

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Paper Romance

Music is this month's theme at Alter it Monthly and as I can't seem to stop listening to Groove Armada's Black Light album I felt inspired to make this ......... It features lyrics from Paper Romance. Continuing with the music theme I made the large flower from some old musical score and the background paper is from the Anthem range by Sassafras.
As I used something old and something new it qualifies too for the new monthly challenge at the Artistic Stamper Creative Team Blog A new wooden frame and the old musical score.

I already have another idea buzzing around my head featuring Gorillaz 'Rhinestone Eyes' - you know I get carried away, remember the song title cards?

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Calendar 365 July

Well, it's that time again another month passed which means it's time to share my completed page for the Calendar 365 Challenge Just where does the time go? This year seems to be skipping along at a fair old pace. I'm really pleased that I've kept up with this as it's interesting to look back at the year even now. The book I'm using is getting quite heavy as I stick either watercolour paper, scrapbook paper or paper for acrylics to the original pages. I seem to remember that I commented on the wafer thin pages when I started in January I just hope there is going to be enough room for the rest of the year. If I carry on next year I think I need better planning.

For July I gessoed the page and used neo wax pastels in shades of yellow, green and blue. Over the top I spritzed a bit of cosmic shimmer and stencilled around the edge using some distress ink through some cardstock which had been punched with a Martha Stewart lace punch. The butterfly is an Amy Butler cardstock die cut. The kraft looking ruler is in fact an East of India paper chain.
Amazingly I got my August page ready ahead of time (I don't know how that happened) so I thought I'd show you my blank page all set and ready to go. This page has been painted with acrylic. The yellow was bit bright so I toned it down with some gesso. As I'm hoping the lovely weather will continue I thought I'd include some summery bunting and the images are from Deviant Scrap that I bought ready for another project.

So that's it I'm all ready for August..........