Sunday, June 24, 2018

Circles Collage

In my free time I enjoy taking online Skillshare classes.  There is always something new to learn.  Today I took a  Collage and Go class by Lucie Duclos.  She talks you through the process of creating the collage and it is great to see that every one's creation is different despite following the same instructions.

I love working with paper and have a vast collection all waiting to be used!  This afternoon I will be doing another online course by a different tutor creating abstract art putting my pens and paper to good use.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Non Gardening Garden

I don't have much time or money to spend on my garden right now as other things have taken priority.  What I have been doing though is having a shuffle around with items in the garden.  The Buddha water fountain was flat on the ground in front of the lawn.  I had an old broken bistro style chair that was destined for the scrap heap but instead of throwing it out, I put the Buddha onto it raising it up among the plants.

For a long time I have wanted an old french oak half barrel to grow water lilies in.  This hasn't happened for various reasons so today I improvised.  On clearing out old pots I found this large plastic pot that didn't have any drill holes in the bottom.  Perfect!  I filled the pot up with water making sure that I put some large rocks in it so if any creatures fall in they can easily get out again.  I now need to let the water settle in for a few days and then I will buy a small water plant.  Hopefully the water will attract a diverse range of wildlife to the garden and give them a place to drink.

The garden isn't as beautiful as it could be, but it is on its way.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Leaf Printing

I didn't know if fabric paint would work for leaf printing but it worked out very well.  I used fabric paint, sponges for application, paper, and a few leaves (non-toxic) from the garden.

 I started to apply the paint too thickly and realized that a lighter touch was needed.

 I really like the definition of the veining in these sage leaves.

Second generation printing of lemon balm leaves.

Another quick and easy project using up things I already have.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Paint Chips, Scraps, Toppers

I have some flimsy card stock that needs using up.  The card quality is not good enough to make greetings cards with, but is good enough for note cards. I wanted to decorate the cards without spending too much time and effort on them.  After uncovering some old paint chips from a d.i.y store, gathering a few embellishments and a selection of reproduction Victorian scraps, I set to making some card toppers.

On this occasion I didn't trim the scraps, thinking that they would look more interesting to be viewed as scraps rather than just a paper cut out.  I covered over the holes in the paint chips and the paint code in the top right corner but left the name of the paint visible. 

Placed on top of the card stock I think they make interesting notelets.

I still need to adhere the toppers to the cards, considering matting and layering, but think they look best left simple.

I think this is my favourite little character (so far) with the sentiment 'Anything Goes'!  Another quick and fun project using up items I already have.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Felt, Card, Embroidery

So many craft supplies but what to do with them?  Today I managed to break into a felt stash and also use one of the aperture cards that I used to use for my cross stitch cards.  I have got so many different aperture cards, embroidery floss and felt that I could make this project many times with different variations on a theme.

I had a good colour range of felt to choose from and chose a lovely blue for my base.  I used a project from an old magazine as my inspiration and a cream rectangular card.

A white gel pen was used to draw on the felt inside the aperture so I knew where to place my design.
I cut out flower shapes by hand but nowadays you could use die cuts to get perfect shapes.  Cutting by hand gives them a quirkiness and liveliness I feel!

I attached the shapes with french knots and added some extra decorative stitching.  As you can see, the white gel pen was visible, so I covered it up with some lemon grosgrain ribbon!

Here is the finished card displayed among my geraniums in the garden!  I think it would look nice mounted in a picture frame.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Sweet Potato Pudding Rasta Style

I made this delicious pudding last night with a recipe taken from 'The Rasta Cookbook' which I have had for 32 years!  It is so easy to make, a little time consuming but well worth the effort.  It reminds me of a sticky toffee pudding - gooey, warming and comforting.  I served mine with ready made custard, warmed through.

1lb (450g) sweet potato
3 slices fresh root ginger
1oz (25g) unsalted butter or margarine
8oz (225g) raw cane sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon (I used ground mixed spice)
pinch of nutmeg
4-5 drops vanilla extract
1/2 pint (257ml) coconut milk
wholemeal flour (enough to bind the mixture together producing a stiff batter)
3oz (85g) raisins

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C (gas mark 4)

Peel and grate the sweet potato and the fresh root ginger into a large bowl.  Mix in the butter, sugar, spices, and vanilla.  Stir in the coconut milk and enough wholemeal flour to bind the mixture together and mix in the raisins.

Grease a shallow ovenproof dish and pour in the mixture.  Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Sugar laden and calorific I am sure but oh such a sweet treat.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hula Girl Embroidery

The hula girl embroidery took a few hours to complete.  It was a learning curve for me trying out stitches I hadn't used before such as split stitch and stem stitch.  I used split stitch for her grass skirt and stem stitch to outline her hair.

In the booklet it suggested to use all six strands of floss to begin with, which I did.  As someone who used to cross stitch regularly using 2 strands of thread this felt alien to me.  For her features I used 2 stranded threads and one strand for her eyebrows.  If I embroidered this design again I would just use two stands of thread for the bulk of the work.

Time to pack this one away now.  What shall I try next?  Silk ribbon embroidery maybe?  The pull of my first love of paper crafting is so strong though, that I think it could be paper related for my next blog post.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Embroidery, Transfers, Kit

I have had this stitch-it kit by Jenny Hart for some time.  I like to take the things out of the box, look at them and put them away again!  Well, this has gone on for far too long.  Instead of just hoarding items I really need to use them making room for future hobbies and interests. Today I decided to get on with it and use the kit.

The kit contains fabric transfers, two tea towels, embroidery floss, needle, hoop and an illustrated book outlining the basic stitches and techniques. There are 35 iron on patterns and I chose a hula girl, one of the larger designs to start with.  I have ironed her onto the tea towel and plan to get stitching over the design later today.  I haven't stitched for a while.  I plan to french knot her belly button!

I am looking forward to this project and if it turns out wrong I can re-use the transfer again.  

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Melt and Pour Soap

I have made soap using the melt and pour method before, so thought I would use up some soap base that I had lurking in the bottom of a soap/candle making box.  It was well past its use by date but as I was just making it for me didn't think that would matter too much.

What should have been a short and satisfying project became a long winded one full of frustration.  I didn't have a microwave to hand which was one of the suggested methods of melting the solid base, so I used a Pyrex bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  It took an age for the base to even start to liquefy.  I ended up 'cooking' the mixture as it had been over the heat too long and burnt.

I tried to salvage the mixture by reheating it but the same thing happened again.  I don't think I was in the right frame of mind before I started and probably wasn't taking care as much as I would on a normal day.  Instead of having bars of lemon balm soap with lemon essential oil I ended up with a messy kitchen and an experience that I hope I will gain wisdom from.

Last time I made soap it turned out OK.  You can see it here from my old blog Linden Grove.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Pen, Doodle, Envelope, Colour

Moving on from my last post, I've added some colour!  I think the colour really brings it to life especially with using sparkly pens.

I have another project lined up for this week involving lemon essential oil and an old craft supply that needs using up..........

Monday, May 28, 2018

Pen, Doodle, Envelope

This must be one of the most economical hobbies to do.  It requires an envelope and a pen.  That's it!  I chose a permanent micron pen and a white envelope.  I just did random doodles remembering to leave the middle of the envelope blank for the address.

I was boiling some eggs for lunch at the same time so I was using otherwise 'wasted' time to do something  creative and useful.  If I am at a loose end later I will decorate the back as well (or maybe not!)

Circles Collage

In my free time I enjoy taking online Skillshare classes.  There is always something new to learn.  Today I took a  Collage and Go class b...