Thursday, September 29, 2011

Autumn Bracelet

My latest Jewellery creation is an autumn leaves bracelet.  Makes a very satisfying autumnal noise as the beads cluster together.  On Gold plated base with a toggle clasp.

Display Idea

When I get an idea, I have to go full steam ahead and try it out.  This morning I was pegging out the washing and had an idea for displaying my necklaces at the farmers market.
It has cost me nothing as the planks were from the garden.  Needed washing and painting with a greeny blue  paint wash.  Once dry, I stuck weather worn pegs onto it.

The necklaces can simply be pegged in place.
The planks will be held onto the side struts of my stall with clamps.

Autumn Organising

Most people spring clean, but I Autumn organise. I have been sorting out all my crafting paraphernalia before the Christmas rush starts. I have a workroom that has floor to ceiling deep shelving and over the past few days, I have removed every item and sorted it out. I've dismantled jewellery that I am not happy with, have tidied through the bead boxes, done a stock take, folded, wiped, piled, stacked the paint, paper, beads, fabrics, materials, fabrics, clays etc and ruined my nails in the process. I am now happy with what I see and all that busy-ness has inspired me to make more stuff. I've also been messing around with the look of my blog and I'm not sure if it will stay this way. That's largely because I can't find out how to get it back to how it was!! (it was one of those "press the button" and before you know it things are different.)

 I do like the fact that all the posts are so visible though especially on the Christmas Creative Blog which is a really visual blog.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Disaster ~ Pure Stupidity

Being a crafter, and an experimental one at that, I am prone to having the odd disaster, but my latest is of epic proportions.
I am currently making papier mache bowls for Christmas and this morning I started to make another batch.  For the first layers I use upturned bowls and layer paper strips over them for a couple of layers before I bake them in  a low heat oven to dry out.  Then I make a clay paste papier mache and coat the outer layer on.
So I got out my plastic bowls and covered one huge mixing bowl and two smaller cereal bowls with paper strips.  I use plastic bowls as they are flexible and removal from the formed shape is easy.
I bunged them into the oven and didn't really think about the temp.  Normally it's on a really low setting,  I was so excited at nipping over to the shops for gold spray paint and doilies that I forgot.
I have been unsuccessful in my doily hunt and got talking about crafting to several people and forgot that my bakes were in the oven.
When I came back in I thought, oh lovely they'll be dry by now, and they were, but each one of the paper forms was empty and on the floor of the oven there was a huge pool of melted plastic and to make it even worse it's stuck all over the oven shelves too.  The bowls had completely disappeared.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Christmas Creative ~ What's New?

I have another Blog (well actually I have several more) that I would like to draw your attention to.  it's called Christmas Creative.  It's the perfect blog to inspire your creative side or to give you a great showcase of what the UK fantastic talented people are making for their shops in the run up to Christmas.  There is alos a healthy dose of Christmas music waiting for you over there.

Make your own Christmas Globes

Make Quilled Snowflakes

Music: O Holy Night ~ Celtic Woman

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Today's the day ~ Celtic Woman Concert

Today  is the day that I would have been going to the Barbican Centre in York to watch Celtic woman in concert.  Sadly,  I can't tell you how sad I am that it was cancelled.  so I shall console myself with a celtic woman fest of my favourites:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Christmas Decorations ~ Mary & Joseph

 I have spent the last week developing and creating these Nativity figures.  They are created from wooden blocks.  I think they would look great on anyone's mantlepiece or windowsill.
You can purchase them HERE

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paul Bailey Art

I love Paul Bailey's art work.  He works in water colour and indian ink and has a unique style that is very recognisable.  Take a look at his work here

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Memories 9/11

They say that many people can tell you what they were doing when JFK was killed.  I always thought that was a bit of a myth, but during the time of my life, there have been two such utter shocking events that have etched an image in my mind.  The first was the death of Diana and the second happened like this.
I stood in the infant play ground with my little girl in her buggy.  We were waiting for her two big brothers to come out of school.
One of my childhood friends came rushing over.  "Have you heard about the Twin towers?" she said.  I replied in the negative.  I wasn't even sure what the twin towers were, let alone where they were.
She went on to tell me that "an aeroplane has crashed into a skyscraper in new York" What an awful accident.
At that stage the playground flooded with children and we made our way home.
Back inside, I went to turn on the portable in the dining room.  I remember the green carpet, the TV balanced on top of an old beige kitchen cabinet.  The blue wall, the flames pouring from a tower block and then the change of camera angle, the shot of a second plane hitting, the explosion, the amazing flash of orange gold and the glint of the sun on broken glass, all set against a blue sky. Then the shock hit.
It was hours before it was possible to stop watching.  the children played happily, oblivious to what was unfolding infront of my eyes.
The towers crumbling, the dust charging up the streets covering everything in it's path.  memories of lessons in school about Pompei.  Images of grey, grey people, grey cars, grey streets, grey mood.
Sorrow, stress, searching for loved ones.  Anguish, anger, Al Qeada.....
The World Watched, The World Wept, The world Changed

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Christmas Shop

I know some people think it is too early, but I have just begun to put together my Christmas Shop.
I have loads of handmade Christmas Gifts and decorations. Including the Nativity story Bracelets (above)
I'll show you more tomorrow.
or, if you can't wait ..... go and have a look HERE

Thursday, September 8, 2011


As aging summer spreads her hands
To catch the falling leaves,
She turns them into wondrous shades,
The autumn patterns she weaves.

To make them whisper and to shake
She gently blows them round
Allowing sun to glint on gold
As they flutter to the ground.

The floor is now a carpet of bronze
An amazing sight to behold
The artists pallet could not improve
As onward the season rolls.

Poem by Carol

South Cave Show 2011

This is what I was doing at the weekend

Craft Tutorial ~ Make your own rainbow crayons

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Skirt Drama Update ~ Latest in the skirt saga

Continuing the saga I am having with school uniform skirts,
School uniform ~ Arrrggggghhhh
and the follow up: Bad News
here is the latest episode

Parcel finally arrives today Wednesday.  I go into the house, open it up and discover not the black 26 x 22, but a grey 24 x 20.  I just sat and stared at it.  How can an order be quite so wrong?
I phoned the company and got the expected apology, but that doesn't help when they don't have the skirt I actually ordered in stock.
So I have now to send back this skirt and find another.  Hopefully my new selection of company can do better!! ... well they could hardly be worse!


So Madonna hates hydrangeas.
Personally I love them. They are so romantic and English Country Garden with their beautiful heads of clustered tiny flowers. Here are some beautiful examples of modern and old varieties.

All these photos are from Hydrangeas! Hydrangeas!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chalk Board Paint ~ Custom Colours

how useful it would be to have a chalk board in your Kitchen or hallway.  Now you can make your own chalkboard paint in the colours you would like.  The tutorial for  custom coloured blackboard paint is available on Martha Stewart's Blog

A follow Up

This post follows on from Yesterdays post about the uniform issues:
Well we waited and watched for the postie to arrive this morning and as the red van turned down the road and pulled up we held our breath.  out she got and walked up the path to our letter box.  There was no bulky packet, no padded envelope.  No Skirt? ..... NO SKIRT!
So it is to be hoped that those uniform police are not very vigilant.
The company who I ordered the skirt from and who promised it would be here today simply said "Sorry"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

School Uniform ~ AARRGGGHHHHHH

When I was at school, all the primary schools I went to (5) did not wear uniform, so each day was get out the clothes that were clean and pop them on and go to school.  I don't remember having issues with fashion or what other people wore etc.  When I started senior school 1980, The uniform was a navy skirt, navy jumper, blue shirt and black shoes.  Everyone went to the uniform shop and bought from a very limited style choice.  As I entered the sixth form I rebelled and wore an extremely long blue skirt from C&A's, but on the whole we all just wore the uniform from the uniform shop.
How different it is now a days, Most primary schools now have uniform and the one I've had contact with were fairly relaxed and allowed any grey skirt and maroon sweatshirt.  In the summer the girls wore red gingham dresses and there were lots of styles available.
The local senior school is a lot more strict on uniform.  They state that the skirt should be knee legnth, black and A line and not made from the t shirt style fabric that rides up.  So that would be fairly simple then, at least that's what you think.  The school produce a skirt but it's the style that suits and more importantly fits only a few.  There is no adjustable waist and no waist band so the possibility of adding elastic is not there.  In reality, to get the correct waist fit for a skinny, you'd be having a few sizes smaller and so the skirt would be too short.  So after attending a very hectic uniform evening, I decided that I'd get one from a local  shop.  
So we trolled around M&S, British home stores, Debenhams, Tesco's Asda, Sainsbury's, New Look, Next and many more.  I was tearing out my hair.  Every shop was so near, but so far.  Some had the right style, but only in younger girls sizes,  but the overwhelming thing was pleats.  They were everywhere and not only that, they were all short.  After all the who ha, I decided that the best place to go and probably where we should have gone first was the trusty uniform shop, the same one I'd got my uniform in all those years before.  Believe it or not the school uniform shop only had one style of skirt in  and that was a pleated kilt.  I was beginning to panic.  It was far too late to order a skirt from the school  and so I began to trawl the internet and on the 25th August, I located the perfect skirt, selected the exact size and length and pressed al the order buttons, sat back and waited.  And Waited.  And Waited.  
Finally last Wednesday I rang and asked where it was and was told it would be in on Wednesday and sent straight out.  But by Saturday I was getting frantic and accosted the post woman, but she had no delivery for me.  So in panic I rang the shop and the lady agreed to post it out to me.  Now I have my fingers crossed that it arrives in Monday's post as it is needed for Tuesday's school.  Should it fail to arrive, I have no plan B.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Uncork The Wine ~ & Use Up The Corks

Cork is a natural material that has many uses, but probably the oldest and best is the use of cork for bottle stopping. So next time you pop the cork, save it and put it to some of these wonderful uses.
Plant Markers ~ Tutorial HERE

Only 112 days left ~ Grab Your Glitter!

Christmas is coming,
If you are planning to go handmade, then you need to start planning and making.  Before you know it, it'll be Christmas eve, the craft shops will be shut and it will all be too late.
If you are looking for idea's of things to make for decorations, food, gifts etc then I have put together a Handmade Christmas Blog which has all the tutorials, eye candy and music to accompany your handmade Christmas endevours.  If you have a christmas related item you would like me to showcase there then let me know.
Happy making!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Papier Mache Bowls

I have been playing with papier mache for the last couple of days.  Typical that I want to make papier mache the day after I put the bins out for recycling.  In ended up scrapping phone books.
I used the cooking method and a home made binder using flour with a little wall paper paste for the anti fungal properties.
I have made four bowls to start with.  One is almighty big and the other three are more moderate (25cm).  One of them is a deep ball shaped bowl which has yet to have a base added.
Over the next couple of weeks I will decorate them and varnish them.

The Perfect Summer hat

I am in love with this stunning hat.  The PDF pattern is available HERE
But and it's a huge but (like mine!)  it's in Japanese and even with Google translate it is still in Japanese.  So sadly I will just dream

Button Fun ~ Button Inspired Ideas

Gift Decoration by Love Maegan

Button Art by Mod Podge Rocks

Thursday, September 1, 2011

To The People Of Wootten Bassett

Wootten Bassett is the town through which, (until today) our brave dead service men pass on their journey to the coroners office  after arriving at RAF Lyneham.
What began as a couple of elderly ex service men making a public salute grew and grew until many many people line the route and welcome our hero's back and life in Wootton Bassett pauses.  Families of the soldiers often line the route too supported by the community.
To the people of Wootton Bassett I want to say thank you for the dignity and respect you have showed to these fallen men and their families on behalf of us all.  You are a wonderful community.

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