Sunday, 28 November 2010

Wreathy nice!

I had this idea for ages to make a wreath using a hobbycraft twig wreath and loads of flowers using lots of different textures - I could see it in my brain but could I translate that into the real thing?

Well I think I did - take a look.

Obviously you can't see into my brain (I sincerely hope not there are some thoughts in there that at I do not want out in the public domain - trust me) but I'm pretty well darned please with the result.

So what did I do?

Well last weekend I spent the Sunday die cutting out loads of PaperArtsy flowers from loads of different papers, card and metal. I wanted a really classy pale neutral colour range to go with the twig wreath so it was all gold and pearl metal, cream linen card, corrugated card, vellum's and some suitable brown cream patterned paper from the stash. The poor old Big Shot was working flat out cranking out those beauties!

Then in the week I started decorating all those lovely flowers. Everything was either embossed in a folder or heat embossed with a pearl or gold embossing powder or stamped with different script and music stamps using pumice, and lake mist inks.

Today I started cutting the flowers, shaping them and sticking them together in towers ala ArtsyCrafty weekend style using my mini glue gun. Didn't get too stuck up or burnt off skin this time!

Finally I started adding them to the wreath, I knew I didn't want to cover all off it and I knew I wanted to try and add height by over laying flower stacks on top of each other and have them coming "off" the ring. Tied some ribbon into bows and voila a rather nice Christmas type wreath.

I have plenty of flowers left so I'm going to make a second one!


So last week was foggy and this week is frosty - fortunately only outside as seen by this picture from my garden!

I feel really chilled and quite mellow after a fantastic day out yesterday spent watching international rugby at Twickenham, England v South Africa. The end result wasn't a win for us but I still enjoyed the whole thing from going down on the train, walking to the ground, seeing smiling happy faces, people joking with each other, talking to nice people and feeling strangely proud standing up and singing the national anthem along with 60,000 other people.

The walk back to the station was a good anthropological observation as well, thousands of fans all inter mingled together no nastiness and standing still politely when asked by the police on their police horses.

You can see why police horses work in terms of crowd control, they loom above you horse and rider, you don't want to scare them in case they start stampeding into the crowd and because you don't see them very often you all stand in awe at how beautiful they are (the horses not the police person sitting on their backs).

Result? Thousands of docile well behaved fans shuffling to the train.

Anyway after all that physical sporting activity yesterday (not me personally of course, I was just merely vocalising my support loudly, very loudly) I need to catch up on some relaxing and absorbing craft to continue this chilled mellow vibe.

Have good day where ever you are and whatever you are doing.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Thinking Christmas

Christmas is a mixed blessing in our house, we don't have any kids, one set of parents is dead and the rest of our family unit (siblings and parents) is small and don't quite get the whole festive family being together playing games thing. Christmas day for me and hubby usually ends at about 4 or if we are lucky 5pm.

For the last couple of years, I've thought is what's the point of me slaving away all morning cooking a turkey with all the trimmings for little or no thanks and I'd quite like to run away but it's sort of expected of us to host and we (well my hubby) live in hope that we can encourage our family to stay a a bit longer and spend some time together.

This year might be a bit different, I sort of feel I want to celebrate Christmas even if it's simple and quiet. Hubby and me will do what's important to us which is a nice meal, some time together in our hectic schedules and going out on Boxing Day to watch some rugby. I've said to the rest of the family you can come if you want and I don't mind if you want to be Scrooges and bah humbug and not come.

I used to really enjoy decorating the house but again that sort of fell by the wayside as I felt what was the point, but this year with this slight tingling fizz of possible excitement I've decided to make some decorations. So far both projects are in early stages but here are a couple of pictures to tempt you.

Can you tell what it is yet?

Saturday, 20 November 2010


Yet again it's foggy morning both literally outside and in my head. I've been slowly succumbing to the cold that's been poking me all week, hence the day off yesterday to "rest" but I think this morning it may have settled in, and made itself comfortable in my head, throat,nose and chest - hence the fogginess.
Don't worry I'm serving an eviction notice as we speak, well I type and you might read at some point!

I had quite a nice day yesterday pottering around in my house, tidying up my craft room, listening to radio 4, annoying the cats and tweeting with my virtual buddies. Shame I have to go to work the rest of the time in order to pay for the stash that lives in my craft room.

Once I'd managed to shove it (the stash) all back in the cupboards and boxes I got on with my "commission" When I say commission it was more a case of "Jo, can you make a thank you card for the director of the play what I am acting in this week?" from my husband.

So, I saw the play on Thursday night and very good it was to, an adaption of Blackadder Goes forth, adapted by husband and starring husband as Edmund (I don't have two husbands just one - he is quite talented but don't tell him I told you).

One of the props is a map, and the co-directors had great fun on ebay sourced authentic material such as this linen map. Anyway I thought I'd make a card that worked like a fold out map so that everyone had enough space to write their comments.

I took 12x12 card sheet and scored it in half horizontally (I had to to a hand movement then to remind myself which way horizontally goes, I will have to do the same when I type vertically) and then at 4" intervals scored it vertically (I did it - the hand movement). I then cut two pieces of mount board 6x4 to make the front and back covers. After lots of folding I worked out where the mount board covers would stick to act as covers and allow the map to fold out.

Then I started painting and stamping. I used a blue and a lovely teal acrylic to paint the mount board and watered down teal to paint the inside bit. The inside bit (see told you brain was foggy) was stamped in lettuce with a couple of old favourite Paperartsy swirly curly scrolls.

The mount board had the swirly tree image from the Paperartsy set embossed on the front in an aqua minty blue mica powder. Glued everything and then edged with a bit of gold inka to give it that faded antique opulent look. Hopefully it does the job and I really like the tree on the front especially with a tiny bit of inka rubbed over the top.

When I finished I even tidied up and put everything away - it won't last.

Right need to eat some breakfast and then off to Olney for haircuts and shock horror I probably (notice the use of probably) won't be popping in to LB Crafts as I normally do - only because I went last week!
Edited: nope couldn't resist, I popped in and spent a littl bit of money ...

Friday, 19 November 2010

Play day

I have a day off today, it's a me day, a day for me to mooch around do a bit of catching up on sleep and housework (just enough so it doesn't depress me) and of course make something. Now I have my craft room back - newly painted in a soft blue called escape (how apt) I'm itching to sort out and make some of the ideas I've had floating around in my head.

So I'll go and get the radio, tune into radio 4 and play ....

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Guilty as charged

I admit it, I have been up before the beak at blogger court and I have been charged with neglect, neglect of my blog. I was reminded that a blog is for life not just when I can be bothered and that procrastination is not be listened to. So in order to carry out my community service here is a quick entry.
I was asked to make a leaving card for a colleague so up for the challenge and inspired by my recent Artsy Crafty weekend I decided to make a tag book.
I cut and decorated (distress inks and Paper Artsy swirl) a tag for each member of staff that they could write what they wanted on to say to the colleague leaving.
Each tag was backed with paper and ribbon added - there were a lot of tags!
I then made the insides where the tags would sit. Folded paper inked and covered with anther piece of paper cut with a Tim edge die. they were then sewn around just to give a bit more stability.
I sandwiched mountboard between two pieces of paper to make the cover. This was gessoed and painted and stamped and edged with gold Inka gloop. Tim distressed flower die flowers were added (I was running out of time I admit) sprayed a bit with glimmer mist.
To attach the tag holders to the cover I carefully sewed the two together (hoping the cover wouldn't split) down the spin and to add a bit of strength glued some ribbon down the spin and tied into a bow.
I have to sat the recipient I think loved it and spent ages reading through the tags which to be honest was the intention, to give her friends and colleagues more space
to say how much they had enjoyed working with her and would miss her.
Have a good week and I "promise" to try and be a bettter blogger.