Friday, August 31, 2007

College, crafts and cards

The last day or two has been a whirl of activity, not all crafty, but busy, never the less. I've been in the process of applying for a part-time course at college, I may or may not get onto it, (it may be full already) but time will tell.

I've also been making Christmas cards with my Mum and baking bread - yummy! More about all this in my 101 things to do in 1001 days blog.
I've also been working on my IYPHP projects but I can't post piccys until Karan's received! the main thing I've been working on requires more *****, so I've ordered some more and hopefully will receive it soon. I've made a pair of *******, a ********* *****, a ****, an ********* **. I've been looking round for a ***** in the ***** ****, but that's proving a little difficult to find at the moment. I've stalked a little and I'm coming up with some superb ideas. :-) I have a big box set on one side that I'm filling up slowly!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

In the red....

But this time it's not the bank balance - hurray! I was browsing through a car boot sale on Bank Holiday Monday (I love car boot sales hee hee!) and I found this dress and top set. They were slightly off white, slightly different colours, but more importantly are made of viscose, and as every crafter knows, viscose dyes really well! They're really pretty, with lace and embroidery and so I grabbed them up.

Whilst in Hobbycraft yesterday, I checked out the dye section and instead of the usual purple, I found my hand straying to the deep red box. This is how they turned out! I love this red!

I may punk it up a little with some black buttons, and maybe even dip dye the bottom in black too. Who knows!? I have a great Namaste red granny square hoody that would go great with this!

I picked these up for my sofa at the same car boot. Did these influence my choice of dye? Maybe, maybe not!

This is 'my' side of the sofa, on M's side the back cushion is all saggy and squishy because he rests his arm on the top of the cushion. I hate that, so now I won't let him swap the cushions over, because he'll do that to the other side too and it'll bug me. It's all lumpy and horrible.

And here is my first ever piece of smithed jewellery! I've used silver smithing techniques, but the metal isn't silver, it's gilded metal which has the same properties and silver, but is cheap to practise on. I took my mini drill with me last night to get the final polish as I couldn't get into the spiral with the wet and dry. I ended up polishing some of the others pendants too.

I also learnt how to use the piercing saw and cut my own shape from a piece of metal, ready to file and learn the cloisonne techniques on. I think I cut the most complicated shape (a heart) but no-one else seemed bothered about learning how to cut the metal. They just want to decorate pre-cut blanks! It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be and even though I snapped *cough* about 3 blades, I did it fairly quickly There's no stopping me now!

This is a picture of a piercing saw, though it's not the one I used. This is just one from the net!

Here's my pendant now, all thonged up and ready to wear. I think I shall wear it today. Hopefully I won't react to it *fingers crossed*

We had a go at enamelling last night, which is GREAT, great fun. It's really instant gratification and combines my love of colour, glass and melting things!! That's my kind of craft *lol* Here's my practice piece.

I love the retro look that millifoire (did you know that millifoire glass is made like sticks of rock, and means million flowers?) gives enamelling. This is a really tiny piece only about 2.5cm tall. The main colour is supposed to be purple, but I guess it's not a very strong colour because it doesn't come through very well. Yummy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Beret nice!

Wow! I finally finished bkrenning4's beret. I can't believe how long this thing took! And I only made a medium too! Imagine how long it would have taken if it had been a large. It's quite an intricate crochet job involving a small hook, lots of lace and puff stitches. I really hope she likes it. I'm not really a slow crocheter and I reckon it probably took me around 25 - 30 hours non stop hooking to Terry Pratchett audio books in the garden.

I'll stick it in the post to her tomorrow morning along with LindsayLuu's package which includes two watercolour paintings and a CD of vintage ladies images. The paintings are inspired by one she had in her Etsy favourites which kind of looks like the one below.

I made the next one to go with it because I like to display pictures in pairs. I guess it's my little bit of OCD - I like symmetry. Yes, I am one of those people who will straighten other peoples crooked pictures and move things on mantle pieces so they balance! It bugs me to distraction if I'm not able to *lol*

Even though they are not exactly my tastes, I like the first one, with the four trees. They kind of remind me of sweeties. Jelly Tots or Smarties maybe. I get so involved with swapping I forget to paint, so it's nice to do a little project like this sometimes.

I have an OTT (one tiny thing) to do for Javede - I think I know what I'm going to do. I've now finished another IYPHP for Karan and another thing for Solorn for the Autumnal Colour swap. I'll try and get a photo of that tomorrow.

Tomorrow night I'll be at Jewellery class again and this week we're going to have a go at Cloisonne (weehee!) and Thursday night Mum and I are going to have a card making session. I'm going to try and get all my Christmas cards done and written, so that I can hand them all over to Mum for her to hand out on Mum and Dad's pre-Christmas travels (my family are Londoner's, so most of our relations live that way.) I bought a pack of ivory coloured card stock all ready, and I think I will be going for the vintage look this year, ivory, gold and sepia. I try and come up with a different design each year and make all the cards the same. I've persuaded M to give me a lift there and back, so no doubt there will be a little wine involved in the evening. Stick 'n' Bitch! Nice!

I also have a craft fair booked for Saturday. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day. I wonder if I could get me one of those Time Turner thingies like Hermiones?! And Sunday, M and I are supposed to be going to the Sealife Centre in Birmingham. We were supposed to be going Bank Holiday Weekend, but after Sunday at the F3 races, M was knackered and didn't fancy another long drive. They have a seahorse breeding programme at Birmingham and loads of jellyfish 'n' stuff. Coool!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

You and me, VIP!

Check here to see what I've been up to today! M and I were VIP's at the Formula 3 British International Series. Considering that it's a Bank Holiday Weekend, the weather was gorgeous!

This is us on the Grid (the race track) as the cars were about to line up. Special honour apparently! I dunno what it is about this picture, but we both look several stones heavier than we actually are *lol* Never get a tall bloke to take pictures of you when you're short! Hard to believe looking at M now that he had dreads when we met (13 years ago - yikes!). I think my hair was emerald green at that point too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Beds of all shapes and sizes!

Well, busy day today! Made jam using the greengages from the tree in the front garden. What a domestic goddess I am! Greengages are small sweet green plums. I only had three jars ready so I have more fruit to make more jam with shortly. The full story is on my 101 things in 1001 days blog. (link on the right hand side bar)

With such gorgeous weather I spent alot of it outside again. Here's a quick IYPHP spoiler. LOVING those Ravenclaw blues! My alter identity is Ravenclaw, though I consider myself to be Gryffindor!

'How is a girl to craft like this?' or 'What to do when your friends want to help you craft'. My furbaby, my craft desk, my problem!

M passed his exam yesterday and is now a fully qualified meter installation & service engineer. WELL DONE M! I had worse news, my hours will be cut as less students are taking art as an option this year *boo hoo* In with one hand and out with the other *sigh*

Here is the bed that Danceisthenewmosh made for my furbabies, all felted and dried. Hopefully they will discover it soon and use it. LOVING those colours! Very Burton-esque! (Yes, I love Tim Burton!)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Soldering on...

Woohoo! I had an amazing package from Karan yesterday - I'm so lucky! I love it all, but this book is going to be particularly useful! I can't find a decent soap making book at my library and this is full of veggie soap recipes! I'm making spa boxes again for Christmas pressies and now I have some great stuff to put in it! Thanks Karan! :-)
And you inadvertently sent Pippin a great pressie too - she thanks you for the packaging which she claimed straight away and slept in there until the window cleaner came and freaked her out! *lol*
I've been doing a little painting recently, here are some goblets which are heading for my eBay shop very shortly.
Ha ha ha, a very blurry close-up of the Celtic detail.
And something I've been playing around with for the HP craftalong. This months theme is Magical classes, so here's a potion bottle for Mandrake Restorative Draught .
It's made from a single shot red wine bottle and fimo, with a jewel and detailed with gold relief paste.
I went to jewellery making class again last night. We designed the decorative bits, hammered detail in, and soldered the copper wire on. The four pendants in the middle are the ones we've been working on.
I feel like we've been buffing these things for hours now *lol* Next week I'm going to take my mini-drill to speed up the buffing.

The one on the bottom right is mine, the one with the spirals. I got to play with a blow torch *mwahaha*

Next week I think we get to try cloisonne :-)

I've signed up for the IYPHP with Karan. I was going with Laural, but I don't think she's up to it at the minute, so Laural, when you're feeling better, I'll do a personal HP swap with you! The only thing is I won't be able to post my projects otherwise I'll spoil the surprise. We've already decided we'll be surprising each other! I already have quite a few ideas and found the 'perfect' thing for one item in town yesterday :-)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Kitschkween and Solorn - swap spoilers!

I made this on a whim the other night....can you guess what it is yet? ( If you're not a Rolf fan, you won't get that last bit *lol*) It's not just a pretty little purse in a blurry photo ( dammit, thought I'd clicked the macro button)
It's a doggy bag bag. A bag for carrying bags to *ahem* poop scoop. Yes, I am a responsible dog owner and clear up after my doggy. I don't always have a pocket for carrying spare bags though, and being a big dog, he does big poos. The normal doggy bags just don't seem strong/big enough. I tend to use medium freezer bags with tie handles.
There's a little popper tag at the back so I can clip it to my keys.

I finished Kitschkweens rainbow scarf. I made it extra long so she could wrap it around her neck and the clouds were made from little six sided medallions. Are they called heptagons? Basically, they're a variation of the old granny square. Only they're not square. And I'm not a granny. I might be old enough to know better though *lol*
I quite liked the lacey effect the medallions created.

I made a wand based on the
instructables tutorial. I'm actually amazed at how well this thing turned out! It's quite sturdy and looks pretty good. I just made it for fun with some waste paper from the printer. If only it was real, I'd use it to summon all the post that seems to have gone missing recently. I'm missing a parcel from Karan, Frosty, and at least one eBay parcel in the past month alone. Accio parcels - I think Owl post would be quicker and much more reliable.

I'm taking part in the Autumnal Colour Swap over on Craftermath. It's the first swap run over there for a while, I think I may have organised the last one *lol*. This is the first thing I've created for my swap partner Solorn.

Vintage gift wrap (I know it's vintage as I've been saving it for years because it was such lovely paper), embossed with her name on the inner, and leaves randomly stamped thought the book. I also glued a ribbon in as a place marker.

I like how this project turned out. I wish I had enough of this paper left to make myself one. Ah well!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Todays letter is B

Today's Scribblings are brought you by the letter B, which stands for:
Books - I love to read; I'm an avid reader, we both are actually. I have three floor to ceiling bookshelves which are literally crammed full of books. These are a couple of shelves for your perusal. We have fiction, autobiographies (M likes sporting auto biogs), non-fiction reference books (DIY, gardening, cooking, etc), art and craft books, text books, all sorts in fact. We bought the house we're living in at the moment because M said he was never moving my books again! Mind you, he can talk, he has a stack of books on the stairs at the moment that he has recently acquired. Yes, the stairs. We're overspilling. Must release a few into the wild soon.

Bathroom: Here's my teeny tiny bathroom. It was the first room I decorated. We inherited the bathroom suite and couldn't afford to replace it, but I kinda like the green. White seems sort of clinical don't you think? We also inherited the tiles and have kept them for the same reason; I will replace those when I can. I wish the window was bigger though. It's the one room that could do with more natural light. The walls are a lovely pistachio green and it feels nice and restful in there. I have lots of candles in there for candlelit baths. I don't tend to have many in the summer, but it's a great way to relax in the winter, and I really do need to relax more.

Bowl: My sister gave me this bowl many years ago, it's very ethnic and primitive - maybe Mexican or African. I think it's been hand-built - a coil method I should think by the weight. I love the shape and colours. It lives on my faux wood burner and sometimes has a candle in.

Breakfast: I like to vary my food, this was this mornings breakfast and very tasty it was too. The recipe is on today's entry on my 101 in 1001 blog. (link is on the right hand tool bar).

Bodrain: I kinda play the Bodrain (Irish Drum) - I say kinda, because I'm not that good, it just fascinates me. When M plays the Didge, I quite often accompany him on percussion, drums, clap sticks, shakers, stuff like that. We used to be in a band together called Bushfire and have performed live in front of an audience on more than one occasion. I need dutch courage to do that though. I'm quite a shy person normally. It was good fun practicing, but we had a Prima Donna in the group, who used to take over and do impromptu solos, or change things though a performance, so you lost track of where you were. M and I eventually left and the band fell apart. My drum lives on my living room wall coz it's so pretty! :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Getting in a Pickle

No I haven't been eating onions, I started a jewellery course last night! I was invited by the woman who runs the Pottery Studio (Magnolia Studios) I sometimes freelance at to come along so that I could help out in any future workshops she might have. I wasn't sure what sort of jewellery it was going to be, but I thought even if it was beading, it would still be fun, and a free night out. Turns out it is a metal jewellery course and will run for a few weeks! Yippee! How lucky is that?
So there were about 7 of us last night including Mo, the silversmith, and Maureen, the studio owner (also called Mo sometimes). So we each had a blank of gilded metal (it looks like copper), which Mo uses for practice workshops because it behaves the same way as silver, and we filed and polished our pieces from a coarse grade, right down to a really fine grade of about 1200. I felt like I sanded for about two hours non stop, but I was rewarded by an almost mirror like finish. Then we annealed it with a butane torch (hee hee, fire!) and put it in pickling solution. Annealing the metal makes it soft enough to work the metal, and pickling it takes the oxidisation off.
Next week we will be hammering texture into the surface of the piece and soldering on copper wire shapes and things. I'm so excited! I've been wanting to do a silver smithing course for years and have never had the cash. I forgot to take any pictures though, but I guess most of the interesting ones wouldn't have come out with my camera phone though, because they were done with the lights low, so we could see the metal change colour as we were firing it.
Today I went on a little shopping trip to replenish some of my craft supplies. I came home with three Sissix paddle cutters which were on sale in Hobbycraft. Verybigjen recommends them for cutting felt, so I thought I'd give them a go since they were so cheap. I didn't go out specifically for these, it was a happy coincidence *lol* I got some cold water dye and fixer to dye a cotton tote bag I came across somewhere which is very boring, and an A5 notebook for 49p in Tescos, bargain! This is going to become a Monster Book of Monsters!
In the same trip I got some olive oil, some almond oil and some castor oil for making shampoo bars with, and some preserve sugar because I'm determined to make some greengage jam this year. The tree at the front of my house flowered for the first time the year before last and it took me ages to pluck up the courage to bite into the green fruit. Of course, once I realised that they were greengages, they were all gone over. Last year, we had such bad gales in the spring time that all the blossom blew off and it didn't really fruit, but this year it seems to be laden with them. Everything is fruiting so early this year! There are tons of elderberries around too, so I may put some of those in the jam too. They are known as the Englishman's grape *lol* I saw some conkers on the floor too, they are very early this year. It doesn't bode well for the World Conker Championships which are held in Northamptonshire every September.

Approximate cost of today's shopping trip = £12.

No of projects enabled = 5+

Amount of fun = Priceless!

WIP's - I've nearly finished Kitchkweens Rainbow scarf. I just have the little rainclouds to crochet now. I had to post a picture of the rainbow-y goodness! I posted LindsayLuu's stitch markers and cards today for the OWS 25.
I've just made my shampoo bars btw - I was desperate to use my soapbox mould (hence the shopping trip *lol*). The recipe I used was:
6 oz water, 62.5 oz Lye, 4 oz olive oil, 4 oz coconut oil, 3 oz palm oil, 3 oz caster oil, 2.5 oz sweet almond oil, 0.5 oz jojoba oil, lavender essential oil, rosemary eo, and geranium eo. It smells lovely. I think I will double the quantities next time though because it was hardly half full in my mould.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ginny's Ginny Hat!

After my slight deviation from my yarn diet which we will mention no more, I've been making some good progress with my Ginny Weasley Hat from the Goblet of Fire film. I finished it last night, after frogging it back once to add another layer of ridges. This colour suits me much better than some of the acid oranges I've seen out there, acrylic oranges seem particularly nasty. *lol*
Here's the front view modelled by my disembodied head Zha'an (any Farscape fans out there?). The side bow hangs just at ear level and looks so cute! As you have probably noticed, I'm quite a hat girl, I have loads of them (I think I'm addicted) and as hats go, the wilder the better. Hats mostly suit me, so I get away with it.

You can see how the top of the hat comes up into a little pixie point. I don't know if the original goes, I can't remember, I'll stick the film on sometime and check! You can see the bow better here too.

I don't think the original has the ties on the other side either, but I think they balance it and they almost look like ringlets. I love roll-y brim hats, they're somehow a little more flattering than a ribbed edge, don't you think?

I made something with my first skein! Here it is all rolled up ball like, ready to use.

It was my little brother's birthday last Friday, so I crocheted him a bowl, which I then felted in the washing machine. Unfortunately I forgot to take an after photo.

After the inevitable teasing, (sometimes even family members don't quite 'get' what is so special about a gift like this - I mean, my first yarn, handspun, crocheted and felted by me!) he said he liked it and was going to keep his loose chain, etc in it!. I also gave him a decent bottle of red wine too, so it wasn't like he was hard done by!

I thought he'd prefer the more natural colour!



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