Monday, 9 June 2014

Travelling Shrine to Elen of the Ways

I love shrines, and when I found this little wooden photo frame for £2.00 in a charity shop I felt it would be perfect for a travelling shrine with its cut out wooden doors that close to protect the picture inside.  It took a few weeks of looking at it before I realised that this stamp of an antlered woman, called Druidess, would fit really well into the frame.

To start with I repainted the frame from its original dull grey to a green with a bit of metallic gold mixed in and then rubbed a bit more gold over the surface.  While that was drying I stamped the image onto white card and heat embossed it.  I used a mix of acrylic paint, dye based watercolours and Twinkling H2Os to get the effects and colours I wanted.

Once the paint on the frame was dry I used various other stamps on the inner frame and on the back of the frame and heat embossed them in copper.  On the front of the doors I added copper metal accent pieces to help hide the image a bit more while they are closed.  I found some vintage amber beads for the flower centres too.  I am going on an Elen of the Ways retreat next weekend and this little shrine will travel with me there.

The front of the shrine, with doors closed.

The central image;  I have left the glass in the frame to protect it.

The shrine stood with its doors opened for use.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Stamp Head ATC's

It has been a while since I joined in an ATC swap, so when Rebecca opened a swap where stamps were to be used to add heads to images taken from magazines, the internet or other places I thought I would join in.  Unfortunately, although there are some stunning ATC's from other people on the swap my inspiration deserted me and I managed five quite boring examples!

Junk Key Round 3: Day of the Dead

This month I had to make a charm for Rebecca's Day of the Dead themed key.  This was quite easy, as I already had the skull charm and sugar skull beads in my stash, so it was just a matter of putting it all together.

June Calendar Journal

I decided to do a sun with it's rays for the journalling spaces this month.  It still looks quite plain though, so I may doodle around the rays as I go through the month.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Green Knowe

As a child I read the books written by Lucy M Boston about the house of Green Knowe, and found them magical.  Years later when I had my own children I bought the set so they could read them.  However, it was only a few years ago that I discovered that Lucy Boston had lived only a few miles from where I do now, and had based the house and garden in her books on the house she lived in.

This week I finally booked a tour of the Manor House, and we were shown round by the author's daughter in law, Diana Boston, who lives there now.  It brought the magic back to walk through the rooms and gardens where the children in the books had walked, and see the artifacts that appeared in the books!  It was also lovely to see Lucy's own patchwork quilts that she made during her lifetime.

I have scrapbooked some of the photos from the day:

As you can see, the main picture hinges back to reveal the other pages hidden inside, together with a bit of journalling about the visit.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Junk Key: Round 2

I currently have Yolanda's key, which is an Alice in Wonderland theme.  I have added a printed charm of Alice, with a little silver teapot and teacup plus blue and white ribbons (the colour of Alice's dress)

May Calendar Journal

I decided to get this done early, as I will be busy up to the end of the month.  My inspiration was the bunches of May (or Hawthorn) blossom that traditionally start to open on May Day.  I painted the background and added die cut flowers (Tim Holtz Tattered Florals dies)  with stamped centres and stamped leaves around them.  I also added little stamped and coloured bees around the flowers.

Unfortunately they don't look as much like May blossom as I planned, as I couldn't find the watercolour paper I wanted to use.  I'm still happy with how they came out though.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

April Calendar Journal

I got painterly with this month's pages as I wanted birds eggs, I'm really pleased how they came out!

I Dream of Antlers

I have some poetry that I want to add images to and print.  This is just a try out, using a photo taken a few years ago by my lovely daughter Gemma and edited in Picasa.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Angel Canvas Swap

This is a swap on the main UK Scrappers forum, based on a decorated canvas in a recent copy of Craft Stamper magazine.  It involved painting a pretty teaspoon and adding wings to make it an angel, then attaching it to a decorated canvas.

I was asked to make mine for Lynn, who wanted some blues and gold for her colour scheme,  The canvas came together quite well, with texture paint through stencils, papers and layers of paint.  The spoon proved more difficult as it took a few layers of gesso to cover it up, then I added a special iridescent paint and the gesso softened and wiped off!  I had to peel it all off and start again, this time I used ordinary acrylic paints and thicker layers of gesso and it seemed to do the trick.

 I am no artist so I refused to try and paint a face in the bowl of the spoon;  I thought I had suitable face stamps but it turned out I didn't!  Plan B then was to use air drying clay with a set of face moulds, and once they were dry I could pick one that fitted best, paint it and add it on.  The wings are a wooden butterfly that came in a free decoupatch kit from a magazine;  this was painted and then microbeads were added at the sides.

Lynn has now received her canvas and is pleased with it,  and I am looking forward to receiving mine in due course from my mystery swappee.

Junk Key

This is another 'circle' swap I have joined on the Secret Swappers.  Each person starts with a key, either a real one that has no use, or a decorative one, and chooses their theme.  They then add a key charm on their theme to their own key and pass it on to the next person who will add a charm in the key's theme and so on.  There are only five people to add to each key as it might get a bit bulky otherwise!

My theme was Gothic/Edgar Alan Poe, and I made my key charm about his poem, The Raven.   I had a metal wing charm big enough for me to add a tiny quote to, and a silver bird skull that I sanded and painted black with Humbrol enamel paint.  I hung the skull up to dry, and watched the paint slide down and drip off the end of the beak, I had to keep mopping it so I didn't end up with a big solidified drip hanging off it!

 However, in the end it looked quite effective, so I hung the charms off the key on a bit of silver chain and threaded some black cord through it all.  It is now away on its travels, and I look forward to getting it home in a few months with other people's work hanging from it too!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Belt up!

After seeing how well my woven scarf turned out, I decided to have a go at weaving a belt using a similar method.  This time I used weaving sticks, which are virtually the same as the pegs in a peg loom except perhaps being a bit longer; these are held in the hand so are much more portable.  The only downsize is there is a limit on how many sticks can be comfortably held in one hand so they only come in sets of five usually.

This suited me fine as I only wanted to use four, and it probably didn't take me much more than an hour to weave the whole length even though I had to measure regularly to make sure I got the buttonholes woven in the right places.  I was pleased how this worked out, as the instruction leaflet didn't mention buttonholes so I had to work out the best way to do them before I started.

I used my favourite Sirdar Indie wool, which has a main colour and then changes to contrasting colours partway through.  I finally got to use a beautiful mossy agate button, which I have had in my stash for years because I fell in love with it at a show but didn't have anything in mind for it!

I have left the warp threads long for now, as I plan to tie found objects such as pieces of seashell and small hagstones onto them.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Calendar Journal: March 2014

February went by a bit too quickly, but I managed to get my pages done on time, I just didn't get around to uploading them on time!  Dylusions and acrylic paint backgrounds, with Prima paper for the journalling squares.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Bo Bunny Jigsaw

Having tried our hands on a 12 piece jigsaw quite a while ago, a number of ladies on Secret Swappers decided to do another jigsaw swap, this time using the large 9 piece Bo Bunny jigsaw which makes up into a 12 x 12 inch square.  This time, instead of each person making 12 identical pieces so that at the end we all had an identical jigsaw of the months of the year, we each had our own theme.  This meant that each of us had to make a piece on 9 different themes.

Unfortunately a couple of people were not able to complete the swap, so I have only decorated seven pieces, and will receive a couple of blank pieces back that I will have to match to my theme.  My finished pieces look like this:

Top Left: Sian's Purple Punk Princess
Top Middle: Yolanda's fairies
Centre Right: Helen's African wild animals
Centre piece:  My own trees & forest theme
Bottom Left: Frances' Heraldry - draw a shield design
Bottom Centre: Rebecca's Day of the Dead
Bottom Right: Karen's Weirdly wonderful

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Mirror, Mirror ...

I have been after a mirror to go on the wall of what is now the guest room for some time.  Even when Gemma was still at home I was looking out for a mirror, preferably one with a little shelf incorporated in it as there isn't space for a dressing table.  I finally found the kind of mirror I wanted in a charity shop last week, for just £2.50!  The downside was that at the time it looked like this:

Not quite right for the green and purple room I have created, but I had a vision, and when Richard got home he had a chisel!  By the next day, the flowerpot elements had been removed, the mirror was masked off and four coats of pale green paint had been added:

At this point I started to panic about ruining it, so I just added a few highlights around the edges with darker green and gold paint, and added a painted wooden laser cut embellishment to the top, and here it is, ready to hang!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Guardian Angel Art Doll

This swap came up on UK Scrappers, and while I have never made an art doll before I have wanted to have a go for a while so I signed up and got the lovely Frances as my swappee.  It's always a bit nerve wracking to make something for another crafter, in case it doesn't work out, and this little lady gave me some sleepless nights.  Even my son looked at her and declared her odd!

She is made from a tiny wooden spoon, with a domino wrapped in a bit of book paper for the body and a moulded polymer clay face.  Her halo, which also allowed me to add the hanging cord, is a vintage mother of pearl button and her skirt is layers of fabric and lace.  I unearthed a lovely box to post her in, that I had saved because it was too nice to throw away, and I decorated it to make it a shrine for the angel to hang inside, although she can easily be removed and hung separately if required.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

February 2014 Calendar

The background for these was again Dylusions, with a bit of stamping and paint.  I did snowdrops for February last year, so decided I would go for the red and pink and hearts this year!

january Calendar Journal

I actually managed to finish my pages in time for the start of the month, but didn't get around to taking photos until now!  Luckily the journaling I have been adding is hidden inside the little die-cut folders.

I used dylusions for the background, light ones for the base then darker colours sprayed over the top of some homemade masks that I got in a secret Santa from a team mate in the Secret Swappers over on UK Scrappers.   Once these had dried I used a large stencil and sprayed over the top again with white dylusions, before adding the mini folders.  I stamped faux stitching round the edges and added two little stamped and coloured houses at the bottom.