Sunday, 29 July 2012

Granny chic

I haven't really been very creative lately, the old inspiration seems to upped sticks and gone AWOL and to be honest I just haven't really "felt like it".  I did made a birthday card for my husband and a sympathy card for a friend at work and last weekend I was creative in the kitchen baking but that's about it.

But I did finally finish my big granny square blanket last night. 
This has been on the go for months, it sits (or should that be "sat" as it now "sits" on the arm of the sofa waiting to be used) in a basket on the hearth in the living room. I periodically pick it up and do a few more rounds whilst watching TV.  I love crochet like this, it doesn't need me to follow a pattern and the rhythmic nature of looping the tactile thread is quite calming.

It's good to get a project finished and there are other unfinished projects in the wool basket like the bagpus scarf but what's really calling me is the lovely soft alpaca wool in gorgeous fawn and light brown neutral tones I got at a NEC craft show last year.  

This time rather than one huge granny square I think ones about "so big" (I was holding my hands up, but that doesn't really work in a text document does it so I reckon about 8" square- hold your hands up and you'll get my drift) joined together in with slightly off white / creamy alpaca.

I need to go shopping I don't think I've got enough wool.



Sunday, 8 July 2012


Oh deary me, it's been a tough couple of weeks on the old health front I have to say - bronchitis in July is not what you expect.  Never mind though we are slowly getting better and we have a few days away soon in Southwold on the east coast to look forward too. A bit of sea air and some Adnams ales will see us right I'm sure.

Speaking of sea this is what I've made slowly this week.  I love the PaperArtsy hotpicks sea themed plates and I've got lots of ideas for using them and this is just one.  

I have to says I struggled with it a bit, made the frame with and the A6 sized card but wasn't sure if they fitted together. So I tried colouring an 8x8 piece of card to put the A6 card (which I really loved) but that didn't really work and ended up in the bin.

Finally went back to the frame and realised what the problem was.  There wasn't enough contrast between the card and the frame and I was looking to get a really rusted wetherworn look to it all - solution? Rusty Hinge Distress Ink (name gives it a way really doesn't it). I used that to go round the edge of the card and finally got contrast!

You can't really see it but the A6 card has a crackle glaze finish in Inky Pool on the bottom and Ice Blue on top.  The fish from the various plates were stamped in grey Stazon which is less "in your face" than black Stazon.  They were coloured in China Blue Distress Stain and a bit of dry brushing in Honeydew and finally that Rusty Hinge Distress Ink.

The shell was stamped in Aquamarine Archival on a calico that had been given a light wash of Ice Blue. I used the Pacific Oysters stamp to add the lines around the edge (just inked up the edges) Little bit of Rusty Hinge around the edges.  Glued onto a piece of Kraft card and the eyelets added.  This was then glued onto the piece of Crunchy waxed paper that had been stapled onto the A6 card. 

I'm really pleased I had the brainwave of the Rusty Hinge because I think it really lifts it and ties in with the Crunchy paper, Kraft card, string and eyelets to give it that left out in the sea air kind of look.

Well it's a major UK sporting afternoon ahead, the tennis wins in our house (even though Silverstone is only 10 miles from us and all we've heard this morning is helicopters going over). I  shall sit and watch it adding some border rows to my granny square crochet blanket - keeps me warm on these chilly summer evenings!


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Just a touch of texture

Well it's been a bit like the plague house here in the Shires, both John and I have had stinkin colds, he's had his for over a fortnight and finally went to the Docters on Friday to be diagnosed with bronchitis and still running a temperature! Me, well I've had lots of coughing, wheezing and varaible vocal changes. I have two presentations to give on Tuesday and seeing as the lady on the cheese counter at Sainsburys couldn't understand me today it could an interesting experience.

I started working on this yesterday, all the "bits" (well fabric) had been laying on my workdesk all week to be honest but just didn't have the energy to play. I really enjoyed reading about Fran.tage in the July Craft Stamper and having purchased some delights at The Stamp Attic I was keen to give it a go.

I started off with a chipboard flower which I painted in Fresco Finish paints in French Roast, Chocolate Pudding and Irish Cream.  Whilst the top layer of paint was still wet I sprinkled on some Stampendous Aged Ivory embossing powder, Some Nutmeg embossing powder and some Antique Photo Distress embossing powder.  I then had to carefully heat it all to get it to melt - now that was a fun experience.  

After I'd added some more embossing powders as my long cylinder heatgun blew it away first time (and second) I managed to get it to melt and bubble ( I ended up doing it quite high and from underneath as well - me thinks I need a new heat gun).  I then used some glossy accents to add some crushed up Stampendous Tarnished mica flakes.

I am SERIOUSLY liking this stuff and want MORE. 

A metal flower and snap fastner coloured with alcohol ink added to the centre. The stem was a peice of florist wire covered in tissue tape.

As per usual there are lots of layers all stiched on.  From the bottom up we have:
  • a peice of frayed linen
  • a peice of book text inked in Brushed Cordory Distress Ink and Picket Fence Distress Stain.  A Swirl inked in Coffee Artchival and some Antique Photo Distress Embossing powder
  • a small peice of PaperArtsy Crunchy Waxed Kraft Paper stamped and scrunched.
  • a peice of off white cotton
  • a peice of frayed hessian
An oblong of Kraft card was inked in Frayed Burlap and Brushed Cordorouy, cut with a die to give the perforated page hole on the left look. A ledger stamp stamped in Coffee Archival and Antique Photo Distress Embossing Powder.

Some more fabric and ribbon across this and some lace and ribbon top left. I then decided to hand sew an awful lot of buttons, beads and pearls on (well I say an awful lot, not really but you know what I mean).  

Everything was stuck onto a lovely painted and distressed IKEA frame.  

So that's what I created in between coughing and sleeping and blowing my nose and coughing and drinking like a teetotal fish. I really enjoyed the hand sewing and think I'd like to do more, perhaps on a bigger scale ....