Monday, 28 February 2011

My Goodies

Before taking pictures of all my purchases I wanted to jazz up my photographs a little.  I think taking pictures on a plain background is perfect to show off detail and really make the item stand out, a busy background will just detract from the item and can quite commonly make the shot look very amateurish.  I'm not selling what I make (just yet) and I really want to develop my own style before I do so I stand out from the rest.  In the future I want to try and make my photographs into art pieces, so they wouldn't look out of place on the wall.  My first idea was to use a different background so I took a trip to Homebase to pick up some wallpaper samples to use as back drops, I know this is a bit naughty but my Dad is redecorating the living room so was getting samples for himself, I'm just going to use them when he is finished.  I picked up some gorgeous glass stones which I could use as decorations and on the way out I also spotted some chunky purple stemmed wine glasses at half price £1.49, I really couldn't resist; I bought four for my new house which I don't own yet.

I next had a mammoth tidying session to set up my little studio on the desk and set about snapping all my purchases from the weekend.  Here are my results...

Watch Face from Beadtime

Paper Punches from Crafty Devils Ltd

Beads and Findings from The Southampton Bead Shop

Patterned Paper by Laura Ashley from Every Crafts a Pound

I really enjoyed playing around with the different papers, they definitely add a bit of colour to the images.  Although I'm not happy with my photographs of the beads, daylight is needed to photograph these properly, I will have to try again at the weekend, I just hope its sunny! I'm looking forward to experimenting further and I cant wait to make some earrings with these beautiful beads.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

'Make It' Craft Fair

After a very unproductive week I have had a crazy busy weekend.  The craft fair was awesome and I splashed out just a little, but I decided I don't treat myself very often and if I want to get more serious with my crafting then I have to build up my supplies.

My friends Sara and Julie from work joined me and we set off hunting down lots of ideas for future crafts.  There were a lot of general craft stands mainly for card and scrapbook making,  and I did quite well to resist all of them as I have so much paper and card stock and glitter and stamps and ink and embellishments that I haven't used.  We did come across quite a few individual stands which were complete gems though!

This beautiful stand from the Japanese Embroidery Guild displayed some amazing artwork.  This is one of my favourites I love all the colours and such fine detail.  I think flowers are beautiful embroidered and a like the ribbon detail, it even looks plaited, isn't amazing what you can do with needle and thread.  I really do want to learn how to embroider, but it will have to be something to put on the back burner. 

This royal blue kimono is just gorgeous.

They also do Japanese beading work, this looks so complicated!!

We also came across these lovely ladies from WOW Embossing Powder, yet again a craft I have always wanted to try and never have.

The range of colours was so vast and beautiful, it was impossible to choose which colours I liked the best.

One of the ladies on the stand showed us a demo using this butterfly stamp from Inkadinkadoo (may have to get one of those!).  She also demonstrated how using white or black ink gives an entirely different look to the piece.  My favourite colour had to be Indigo, it was so bright on white but very sophisticated on black, I love the colour purple so much right now, I'm starting to get known for it.

 Next door to this stand was a shop selling mdf letters and words, I was really tempted to get an S and G but restrained myself.  We all really loved the idea of using embossing glitter on the wood, this was so glittery the picture really doesn't give it justice.

We then decided to take a snack break; noodles and sweet and sour chicken it was really yummy!! Check out these huge pans as well, they would be so great for a party.  I wasn't sure why they had handles though they looked impossibly heavy to lift.

After watching a demonstration from Crafty Devils Ltd using paper punches from Tonic Studios with a special measuring device we knew we hat to get some.  Julie and Sara decided to split a border set between them and I purchased some special large punches; they only part cut the paper so you can fold it up and make 3D cards.

My favourite shop of the fair had to be The Southampton Bead Shop there were so many pretty, sparkly beads I was actually in heaven.  I really am a magpie shopper anything sparkly and I'm hooked and these beads are gorgeous.  My favourites are the Chinese Crystals, they are glass and two tone in colour my favourite were the purple/yellow ones, my two favourite colours just perfect.

It was seriously hard choosing which beads to take home, I really did want them all.  In the end I decided on these some small 4mm bicone crystals and larger 8mm faceted doughnut crystals.  I also bought a ton of findings in every type of metal.  I think they were much cheaper than the ones I got from Hobbycraft (I will have to find my old receipts) but they seemed very good value for money.

I think by this point I had been wandering around too long, I look a little manic! I really just wanted to take all these beads home with me.

I spent far too much on this stand alone but it was completely worth it, and as my brother lives in Southampton at the moment I think I will definitely be visiting their shop very soon.  Thanks guys you made my day!!

So after four and a half hours we finally decided we had bought enough and should head home; here we are all looking a bit bedraggled, but very very happy with all our purchases.

  Thanks girls for a great day!!

Friday, 25 February 2011

A Little Unproductive

I have had a very unproductive week over the last few days but I'm raring to go for the weekend.  Firstly my lovely friend Sara from Doodle Dandy and I purchased a huge roll of freezer paper which we carefully divided in half at work today.  I wish I had taken a photograph of it all rolled out across the office floor, we did get a few weird looks.  I took a pic after to remember the momentous occasion!!

I can't wait to start making my own designs; I even know what t-shirts I want to make because I had planned it all out last year, but never got anywhere with it.  I'm keeping that a secret though, I'll let you know how I get on.

Also I am going to Make It which is a huge craft fair for the South of England at Farnborough Airport.  I've not been to a craft fair in years so I'm very excited but will have to restrain myself.  I have to think practically and not just buy for the sake of buying (although I may treat myself, just a little bit!!).

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A Very Short(ish) Post

I have realised lately I have been writing really long posts so today is a short one, ish.  I just wanted to blog about a technique I found to print your very own designs on t-shirts.  For a while now I have wanted to print my own t-shirts; I had some made for me by a shop in town which were ok for a one off, but far too expensive to make lots.  I also looked into screen printing but again it is quite costly and time consuming especially if you only want to make 1 of each design.  I experimented with masking tape and paper even plastic and making my own screen from a pair of old tights and some glue, but these all failed - badly and left blotchy shapes with uneven edges.  That is until now...

This amazing scarf was made with the technique of cutting a design out of Freezer Paper.  The paper is very special as it is slightly waxed on one side, so when placed over fabric and ironed, it melts the wax and creates a perfect template to paint over.  All you need to do once the paint is dry is peel it off, Amazing!!!

I can't wait to have a go myself, find this tutorial at How About Orange and see some of the other designs below found around the blogasphere....

Leaves T-Shirt by Make It and Love It

Robot T-shirt by Delia Creates

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Valentine's Weekend Continued...

What a weekend, it was absolutely awesome!! Of course the biggest treat was seeing Graeme as it has been quite a few weeks since I saw him last; when he returned to Uni I had stinking tonsillitis so didn't say goodbye properly.  But this weekend I was treated royally, where to start...

So firstly I saw The Haunting at Windsor Theatre with my parents.  After reading the program properly I realised it wasn't actually written by Charles Dickens just based on many of his short stories and parts of his life.  Even so it was very good; there were only 3 actors in the whole play which I thought would get very monotonous but not at all. The special effects were really good, there were books flying from the walls, ghosts appearing out of no where, the woman in front of me was jumping so much it made me giggle.  It may not be to everyones taste but I enjoyed it quite a bit, and would definitely go and see another like it.

I then drove up to see Graeme, which was good in a way because there was no traffic at 10.30 on a Friday, but I decided to go up on the M1 and forgot they are doing roadworks, so was stuck at 50mph for most of the journey, ahhhhh!!!  I came back on the M40 much quicker!!  When I did arrive I was greeted by a lovely bunch of flowers in a very pretty white vase (as Graeme didn't have a vase in the house, well they are all boys I suppose).  

He couldn't wait to open his presents and as it was a Valentine's weekend (because I was going home on Monday) I let him open them straight away.

I drew him a Lego Star Wars picture of Darth Vader and some Storm Troopers from a tutorial I found, I also cunningly added some hearts because it is Valentine's after all.  The hearts and words are painted with acrylic paint, the rest I coloured in with alcohol markers; I used acetone to smudge the colours together which was very effective.  I have only tried this method once before but it worked really well, so I may have to make some more artwork using this method, I will also need to purchase some more pens as I only have 3 shades of grey.  I also need a thinner black marker pen for the edges, I kept smudging the felt tip I used accidently.

I also bought him some Star Wars Lego to start building his very own chess set I posted about last year, and a little Lego truck set because I couldn't resist and went a bit mad for Lego!!

Graeme bought us tickets for The Blanks who were so awesome!! They were really fun and it was great to hear live all the songs they sing in Scrubs.  They even sung the song I posted about last week, so amazning!!  Our last Valentine's treat was to see Tangled 3D at the cinema, which I loved!! I think it really will become a Disney classic it was a good story and really funny in parts, with a bit of innuendo thrown in for the adults.  I would definitely recommend it to any Disneyholic like me!!

My favorite character is Pascal the Chameleon, he is a very cheeky chappy!!

Greame's was Maximus the Horse, who was part dog and completely awesome at sword fighting!! Also love the fact the tavern is called The Snuggly Duckling!!!

So that concludes my weekend now back to reality for a bit!! I have a few new craft projects lined up and a few old ones that I still haven't completed.  Watch this space I'll post very soon...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Valentine's Weekend

I'm really excited about this weekend, not only am I going up to Loughborough to see Graeme yay!! I'm also going to see The Haunting at Windsor Theatre with my parents and it's Valentine's day on Monday.  For once my social life is jam packed and I'm thrilled, I've had a few very quiet weeks so it's great to get out and about.

I am for once quite prepared for the weekend and finished off Graeme's presents today, I would love to show you but they are wrapped up already.  I know its not especially Valentines paper but Pink isn't really my thing.  I'll let you have a sneak peek after the weekend!!

I already know Graeme's present for me he has got us tickets to see The Blanks.  They are the awesome A Capella group in Scrubs fronted by Ted.  I didn't even know they were a real group so I can't wait , I have been You Tubing them all week but will be great to see them live.  This is one of my favourites, love Scott Mills; this is my first link to a video...

I'm also dead excited to go to the theatre; Mum and I said we really should go more so a few weeks ago we went to see Hairspray at Woking Theatre and in a couple weeks time we are seeing Avenue Q also at Woking.  I've seen it before in London with Graeme, it was actually on one of our very first dates, and it was absolutely hysterical so can't wait to go again.

I have not been to Windsor theatre in years,  I have also never seen a Charles Dickens stage show before or know anything about the story.  It's not a musical I know that otherwise my Dad would not be coming and I think it will be a horror because it's called The Haunting but apart from that we will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Interested in Pinterest?

I finally got my invite to try out Pinterest at the weekend, I am so excited!!

The aim of the website is to create pin boards of everything or anything you find interesting around the interwebs.  You get a handy short cut which you add to your bookmark bar called 'Pin It' and when you find a picture/blog/website you like, you click the link to add the image to one of your boards.  This is such an brilliant way of gathering ideas into one place that you can share with your friends.

I have added a link to my main page to my side bar so go check it out yourself  ------------------------------>

My web browser is full to bursting of bookmarks that I have saved of ideas, but I cant take this with me if I switch computers.  Pinterest is now the perfect place for me to save all my ideas together in one place.  Even better I get to actually see what was on each page not just the link.  These are just some of the images I have pinned so far...

If anyone would like an invite leave a comment and I can add you to the list, I only have 6 spaces so first come first served!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Carried Away With Flowers

I have got a tad carried away with making fabric flowers from the tutorial I posted the other day.  They are so easy and fun to make and different fabrics give an entirely different look to the piece, so I had to experiment with all the scraps of fabric I have lying around the place. One thing that is essential is to make sure the fabric is man made and so part plastic, other wise the edges burn instead of melt.

I also got around to finishing my jewellery wall hangers.  It took quite a bit of effort and an extra pair of hands to staple down all the fabric and screw the hooks in without rucking up the fabric.  But I'm thrilled with the result and couldn't wait to put my jewellery on it.

To add a bit of embellishment I sewed a spare fabric flower to the corner and I already have plans to improve the design. I want to attach a piece of ribbon around the large square which I can clip all my hair slides to.

The only problem is I haven't even hung a quarter of all my jewellery up and it is already starting to look crowed.  I think I may have to add a few more canvas' to the design, maybe I can make a whole wall full of them??