Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Marbling Ideas and Info

After my WOYWW post quite a few of you have asked for info on how I did my marbling so I'm doing an extra post today with photos of the simple stages. I've played around with several inks but I find the easy marble pots really are the easiest and are readily available at art or craft shops. 
Whilst there are more detailed and complex methods here I'm doing it the simple way and marbling with water as the carrier so it's best and easier to just use the right paint.
Note that the paint is not permanent , just decorative, and therefore will not wash. Here's the link for Marabu who make them.
To decorate the eggs you'll need a large jam jar of water (not too full so it doesn't overflow when items are plunged), kebab skewers (around £1 for 100) a piece of wire or a pointy tool, plastic eggs, 3 or more colours of easy marble paints. HobbyCraft have eggs quite cheaply BTW.
Late note... found packets of 12 eggs at The Works for 99p... (make sure you get the plastic ones as they also have polystyrene eggs which aren't quite as effective.)
Drip 3 or 4 drops of each colour onto the surface of the water.
Swirl around with the tip of a metal point
Push a skewer into a plastic egg then plunge into the water, twisting as it goes down. It doesn't look too good yet and it is serendipity as to the results achieved.
It is fascinating to see what emerges.
Sometimes just amazing!
Add tags and ribbons and they can then be displayed amongst Spring greenery for Easter
I also tried marbling shapes cut out of white mountboard and I think this has great prospects for more experiments.
These cut outs were all dipped into the colours in the jam jar exactly in the same way as the eggs but I pushed a cocktail stick into each item or held it with tweezers.
All these items can be stamped, decorated with flowers, gems, glitter etc, depending on their final use.
If you want to marble pieces of card then have the water in a bigger flat tray slightly bigger than the card to be marbled so the inks do not waste. You only then need to add drops for the surface area needed.
With an extra swirl this tray of water produced this result on card....
The small piece of card, bottom right, was made by picking up the residue ink in the tray.
I hope this inspires you to have a play and have fun... I did !!!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

WOYWW, Eggs, Pegs and Klitty

We didn't lose an hour this week... we lost the whole week somewhere and it's already WOYWW again. Each week I think I'm not going to be able to find anything to show but whilst I rarely have a tidy desk I just don't worry any more about showing my mess in this massive expose of craft desks around the world.
Yes! you guessed... it's a mess again, but isn't it so much more interesting than a tidy space?... well I've got to have some excuse!
If you want to experience this mayhem in depth call in on Julia at the Stamping-Ground blog for the link to over 100 more desks and I bet there's one worse than mine!!!
So many things on there that I bought in Germany, still waiting to be stored away but I'll get round to that one day soon, meanwhile I have been messing around with eggs. There was a make and take session in one of the craft shops in Germany to marble plastic eggs which prompted me to bring home some of their white plastic ones...  they were so cheap.... so I could have a play at home.
The big egg with the lacy band opens up so it will be great to give little gifts of chocky eggs and money to the children.
I'm going to stick this little nest, with it's small marbled eggs and cute compressed paper bird, on top of a round Ikea box.
Here are the German made Silikon Stempel from My Paper World which many of you asked to see. I haven't yet used them but I envisage them being handy for masculine cards. They were good value at 4.55 and 6.50 euros a plate.
Still no requests for these Dolly Pegs... Some time ago someone out there expressed a need for them, and I think it was someone from America... so if it was you, shout out now or I may just find a use for them myself!!! Even if you didn't request them originally please ask if you'd like them and if there are several people I can draw names for them.
Who needs them? email me!
Here's Klitty
My new best friend was sent to me by my blogging buddy Donna of the Doings of Doone blog as my gift for participating in "Pay it Forward".  It was such fun to receive this Tart with a Heart and she makes me smile when ever I see her so she will probably find a home in my kitchen so I can smile more often. I need her badly! I just love Klitty's tatty red hair and her stripey stockings... and I must reveal (but it probably won't embarress her when I tell you) that she wears no knickers!!! Ooh, er! 
Thanks so much for this treasure Donna, I will give her a good home, I promise.

I still owe my promised hand made items to the folk who responded to my PIF post but they won't be too long now (even though the rules stipulate the gifts must be made and sent during 2011, I won't leave it till November), and mine will be going out to.......Sam, Liverpool Lou,Tinker Taylor, Carmen, Kay and Tuire.

Last but certainly not least ... a huge thanks for all the good wishes sent by you for a very special person... my little grandee. There have been so many kind loving messages from all over the world and they are all really appreciated by me and my family. I am pleased to say that the latest tests have shown that her treatment is working really well and leave it there for now.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Hats & Dolly Pegs

Craftwise, I haven't made much more than a mess of late, as I haven't felt in the mood, but whilst we were in Germany and during the journey, I did crochet these hats for my grandees. With so many tiny girlies in the family they will always fit one of them!
Sometime ago, someone (I think in America), wanted some of these Dolly Pegs. I bought these, quite cheaply in Germany so if it was YOU who needed them then please let me know. If more than one person applies I'll raffle them, but I can get more on my next trip!
More pics of Lueneburg, the picturesque town where we stayed. First the view from the balcony of our rented apartment, over the Aldstadt (old town)...
Below, the old church of St Michaels, in the old town, where Johann Sebastian Bach was a choirboy around 1700
Market day in the town hall square
Bicycles everywhere!
The Rathaus... (Town Hall)... it's history dates back to 1230 and the town's prosperity was based on the salt trade.
I love these statues and the little girl in the middle has her tongue out to catch the rain!
Down by the river
Everyone sits outside, Winter and Summer, but there are warm blankets provided with a different colour at each cafe.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

WOYWW from Lueneburg

I'm here, in Germany, visiting my family and this is my "desk"... the apartment dining table, which looks out onto the balcony, where we are staying. We have spent quite some time shopping whilst my DD and her DH are unexpectedly back at the hospital with the little one so you can see some of the stash I've acquired. Shopping is good therapy! My fave craft shop closed but I found an even better one and they sell a great range of German stamps. I'm knitting to keep myself busy too and I plan to marble those eggs just like I saw being demonstrated at the craft shop. The rose plant and the Hundertwasser postcard was a welcome gift from DD's thoughtful inlaws. There's a lovely rooftop view, beyond the balcony, as we are two floors high, if only you could see a little more!
Call in on our wonderful leader, Julia's blog... stamping ground to witness an amazing range of so many more desks from all around the world and here is where I am this week....
Above, down by the river a really lovely spot..... below the special cart and horses will take tourist around this lovely picturesque historic town.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Curly Hair

This was prepped before we came to Germany to visit our family and the little'un who is in hospital so this is a last minute editing just to tell you all that it looks like Twiglet has managed to secure Baxter Mk2 for our special little one! Thanks so much for your trouble Twiget... .posting this from a cafe with internet so in haste. Will be home in a couple of days.
My eldest little grandee, who will be 4 at the end of May, has such very curly hair and what a problem it is trying to brush it for her. We have to warn the neighbours!! We've tried detangle products, conditioners, special brushes and combs and even bribed her with little treats to get it done. My hairbrush was reasonably successful so I tried to buy another to send to her...... no luck .... so, inspired by Jayne's ATG gun, I have decorated my brush with bling, Stickles and ribbons and hope that will encourage her to use it!
Here's curly head watching the Iron Boot Scrapers .... hilariously talented street entertainers outside the theatre in Brighton. They are so much fun that it was really difficult tearing her away.
A favourite shop in the North Lanes selling amazing sweeties but now, all those origami cranes, Mount Fuji and the Hokosai Great Wave in their window could act as a memorial to the dreadful Japanese tragedy.
She can look and dream but doesn't get treats from this shop! Too many additives, so we chose a little healthy yoghurt ice from nearby.
More entertainment at the end of the North Lanes

Friday, 18 March 2011

Bill's Restaurant and Store, Brighton

I love this place so much for it's interesting displays and colours in the shop and the food is really good. The restaurant/cafe tables are plopped right in the midst of the big fruit, vegetable and food emporium and I always think I am sitting in   a film set! This is the inside of the Brighton branch and I posted a pic of the exterior of Bill's in Lewes on 11th March.
Click here to visit all four of Bill's Restaurant Stores 
Pumpkin Soup on the menu very soon!
The delicious cakes are all a work of art 
I want every colour of these net shopping bags

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

WOYWW and Kind Thoughts

I can't believe that WOYWW has come around again so quickly yet it seems like an age since last week too. Not too many strawberries to be seen on my desk this week and not much crafting has been attempted except the simple card above. Just a bit of a mess around as I can't concentrate. I've tried to channel myself into making something, anything, just to keep myself occupied, as I am thinking so much about my beautiful little grandee in Germany who is back in hospital. This has knocked us all for six as she has leukaemia and thus will have to undergo intensive treatment over quite a long period. I wish I could have it for her.
It's totally unfair that they all have to go through this, but life is cruel and more than unfair at times, so now I want to remain strong for them all. 
I'm not going to write about it all very often but I felt I had to tell everyone, who responded to my ramblings last week with such kind thoughts, that there was something really wrong. Thank you all for your special messages and concern. There's a way to help us at the end of this post....
but for now there are lots more desks to be ogled on Julia's blog Stamping Ground.
Thanks so much to Wipso for this wonderful thoughtful gift and card
The key is to indicate how tiny this little Teddy is.... just read the special message with it.
Now to all UK's how you can help.....
He was from Marks & Spencer and was a gift to my little grandee when she was born. She loves him so much and he has been to hospital with her, at Christmas and now again, where he has had slings and bandages, injections and temperature checks alongside the little one. He's worn out!
We badly need a replacement so Baxter No1 can be washed and repaired.
Do you have one in a toy box, lying there all lonely and unloved?
Can you spot one in a car boot sale or charity shop?
We can wash him and send him into hospital to stand in for No1
We have searched on ebay and the net and we have asked M&S to help but he is no longer manufactured or sold.
There must be thousands out there hiding somewhere! Here's the code on his tag.
Late editing... this photo was taken a few minutes ago of the computer screen as we have just Skyped. Not a good quality pic but you can see how much she loves Baxter and here she is biting his nose! Joy of joys, they are home for a day or two before her next treatment.
If you even bother to look for Baxter, thank you so much. If you are able to find one that will be wonderful.... please email me. I will reimburse any costs and will also make a one off piece of artwork in return as a thank you.