Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Paper Cut Trees & Baubles

Here's another paper cut, as promised, and there are still a couple more to come over the next few days. There are two sizes of the tree and this below is the smaller of them. I've been experimenting with the idea and here it's cut out of old dictionary paper. Multi layers in fact. I cut out 3 sets of 10 sheets machined together then when completed I stuck them with a thin line of Glossy Accents along the stitch line. 
They also look lovely (and I think I prefer them) cut from white copy paper and glitter can be added for a bit of bling.
It took about 15 minutes to cut out one set of tree pages and I find it gets easier and quicker with each set as you find short cuts to manoeuvre the scissors round the shapes.

Here's yesterday's bauble cut out of old dictionary pages.
Opened out
Free Template
ready to print off and the template scan for the baubles is in on yesterday's post.
Showing the pages machined together with a strong needle and a big stitch.
The plain white page is carefully torn away from the stitching once the cutting is complete.
 It  was easier to punch holes with my cropodile so I could get my scissors in to cut out the small shapes
I met up with my lovely crafting friend Olive yesterday and we went into Liverpool to visit the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the Tate. First we popped in so Olive could see the Lily Savage costumes, the Peter Blake litho prints and the Magritte Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, which I visited last week but it was all certainly worth another look.
Here's Olive blending in nicely!
 Looks like Olive is wearing the feathers which are on the model at the back! She reckons she would wear either of these two outfits, mini skirts, leopard print and all!
 Some of the Magritte illustrations. We especially loved seeing the cabinet full of his art equipment.
We walked over to the Tate down by the river and whilst we enjoyed the Alice exhibition, neither of us could say we were bowled over by it. Lots of little things captivated our interest but generally it was all too surreal the way so many artists had been influenced by the story and resultantly produced such extreme and often disturbing contemporary art so far removed from the original story by Lewis Caroll and the illustrations by Tenniel. 
Still we had such good day out until we came out of the Tate to black skies, gale force wind and driving rain which completely soaked us on the way back to the town centre. The rain went through all my clothes and ran down my back and I certainly didn't enjoy the bus trip home to a welcome hot bath.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


 Still the gnomes are breeding on my table but they don't do a thing for their keep. In fact they spell trouble!
Donna came to visit me on Sunday for a flying visit with her DS and we had a hectic but lovely time cramming as much crafting in as time allowed but I forgot to take photos so the only evidence I have is the pendant I made. I also completed another pendant and an angel when my lovely visitors had departed but I cannot find where on earth I put them. I seriously think the gnomes had something to do with it.

If you are coping with all this, and can manage more, then go over to Stamping Ground, the blog of our leader Julia and race around the globe bloghopping the desks and creations of over 100 crafters.
This pendant is the piece of my  jewellery I made from tin.
 Another freebie pattern
 Some paper cuts to share.....I originally made these quite some years ago but I think they are worth revisiting.
  To make them..... machine stitch together "as many sheets of copy paper as can be cut through" (up to abut 10 layers if the paper isn't too heavy). With a heavy machine needle and a large stitch setting, sew down the centre of the decoration and the stitching will form the hinge when the design is cut out. Remember to leave a tail end of cotton long enough to form a hanging loop.
Open out all the layers of paper and below are my battered old original samples. Plain and simple here but they can be sprinkled with a little glitter or sequins if preferred. I am going to make some fresh ones from old dictionary pages just as soon as those dratted gnomes have moved on. I love the effect of the stars I made from dictionary pages a few days ago so I think I'll see if these paper cuts look good in print! 
Be sure to pop by from time to time this week as I have a few more lovely templates to share. I have a sledge, a reindeer and a couple of Christmas trees yet to come! Don't miss them!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Paper Star

Before I tell you about the fabulous woven vintage paper stars, below, I just want to mention a comment I received today. In almost two years of blogging I have had so many lovely comments but never any direct criticism, although I have had lots of constructive suggestions. I'm no prima donna and can accept criticism where founded but the comment, which I deleted without publishing, was a simple but direct, unnecessary, and unfounded criticism of my choice of colour with blunt advice.
I must inform the writer that, in art, birds can be ANY colour, it's called artistic licence and on this blog I can choose to do as I wish as long as it harms no one. I am sure that in Nature you will find birds in any colour too but I accept that they won't have sequins on their heads, but in art they CAN!!
I mention this because another blogger friend of mine has also received unnecessary criticism to one of her posts so I am wary that this may be some sort of ploy so, bloggers beware, and let me know if you have had anything similar.
Woven Vintage Paper Stars
These are the creation of Amanda of houserevivals blog and, if you pop over to visit, she has a fabulous easy to follow tutorial. Be sure to go to her blog and only her blog because someone has been poaching her great designs.
These are the ones I made from an old wrecked dictionary but I have not yet decided what I'm going to add in the way of bling and sparkle. I just love them so HUGE thanks to Amanda... I'm certainly going to make some more!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Amazing Craft Barn Candy

Here's a real "DON'T MISS" opportunity which I think is one of the best offers of Blog Candy I've ever seen. Be sure to check it out .....Lots of lovely goodies and all the type of stash I love too!
Congratulations to the Craft Barn, it's a great place and well worth the detour I make to visit them when I'm travelling to the South Coast.  

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

WOYWW 129 & the Invasion of the Gnomes.

Forget those strawberries! I'm loving my stainless steel surface on my desk. I have been asked if it is cold to work on?.... No!
Does it get to hot when using a heat gun,? No, but I'm sure it would if I used the heat gun in one spot for a prolonged period. Is it really "stainless"? So far Yes! It cleans very easily, as do the stainless steel surfaces in professional kitchens!
The giant roll of heavy paper on there is proving very useful for the invasion of the gnomes..... I sit cutting them out whilst watching TV and the roll is so long that I can make longer strings of the little fellas.

If you don't already think I'm barmy, pop over to Stamping-Ground where our lovely Julia is the "Hostess with the Mostest" every Wednesday leading WOYWW, undoubtedly the biggest extravaganza of craft desks in the blogging world. 
They're coming to take me away, ha, ha, hee, hee! The march of the gnomes is on! Snip, snip, snip! They'll stand in line or round in circles or hang on your tree quite alone. They can be coloured red or green with angel hair added for their beards. 
In reality these below are all white... it was the evening sun glowing when I took my pic that makes them look alternately orange. Yes! That's correct I said SUN!! You needn't go to Specsavers!
I added a border of blue and some snowflakes to this gang and last week I added a red background with some spiky green leaves, but they do look fine standing alone.
A Little Christmas Gift
If you'd like to have a go making some, here's a scan of my template along with an ice skate and an angel. Just enlarge it and copy it to your files then print it off onto card before you cut out the shapes as templates.
Remember to alternate the template so the joining points meet on the folds.
The gnome is inspired by something I spied on but it is now quite modified. The ice skate is inspired by a tin decoration that I bought in Germany last year and I also modified that design considerably as I don't like to copy anything exactly, especially if I cannot give credit to the original designer. The angel is completely my own idea.

Cheap, Cheap!
Here are the birds I bought very cheaply last week from a very well known Swedish shop.
I opened out the wings and punched snowflakes into each double fold/ They were then spritzed with purple Glimmer Mist.
The body of the bird was stamped and clear embossed before colouring with Distress Inks. A few dangly bits and bobs of beady bling plus micro sequins made the finishing touches.

Hope you are all getting along with your preparations for Christmas without getting stressed. I am only playing around and having fun making things for my family. No pressure, no stress, it's great!
Last but not least...
Happy Thanksgiving to all our American visitors. 
I hope as many of you as possible share it with those you love wherever you are in the world.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Cards galore!

I spent yesterday afternoon cardmaking enjoying the new stainless steel surface on my desk, making them for my DDs Art & Craft sale. The cards are all angels and whilst they will do well for Christmas , most of them will be suitable for other occasions. 
I used some of the stock of background cards that I had made during dems at shows and I stamped and embossed the angels, most of which were from Lost Coast Designs.
All in all with last week's makes I sent around 50 cards to DD1 today! Amazing as I don't bother making any for my own use!
Thought I'd show you the super pack of 4 white mountboard birds, all with pleated wings, which I bought for less than a couple of pounds at a certain Swedish shop we all know. I'm going to decorate them and add some beads as decorations.
I also made yet another warm, pure wool hat with earflaps for my little grandee to wear in the cold German Winter. Still have to knit more for the Brighton Belles. This one looks a bit lumpy but I photographed it in a hurry over a cardboard box!
                                       Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

WOYWW 128 & Walker Art Gallery Wonders!

On Sunday, my fantastically kind neighbour, Colin, fitted my stainless steel top to my table, FREE, yes! amazingly and so kindly FREE.
 I must say that I'm overwhelmed and I just love it. 
It was suggested that I should stick it to the table but I found some handy clips which will keep it removable.
Feast your eyes as it may never be so clear ever again and for the last time, there's my folded strawberry cloth on my table just for old times sake. Sorry folks but it was too stiff to drape over me but, who knows, I may well make it into aprons or shopping bags one day!!
Now I must confess, our lovely mentor Julia, of the Stamping Ground blog, brain washes us into sharing our workplace every Wednesday for the whole wide World to share so hop over to visit her and you can spin around the treasures and travesties of global crafting. 
 I soon set to, making my new, pristine surface look and feel like home, by prepping some images for a forthcoming workshop. Many of the ladies aren't crafters so I'm keeping it simple and doing some of the stages in advance to speed up the class as there will be around 30 attending.

Now that my family visitors have returned to Germany, I was feeling rock bottom low, miserable, missing them so much, and I didn't want to stay home rattling round in the, now quiet, empty house so I went down town to the Walker Art Gallery to fill my mind with other lovely things. Happily there was far more to see than I expected.
Liverpool currently has so many excellent exhibitions and, apart from The Liverpool Tate Gallery where there is the (chargeable) exhibition of art influenced by Alice in Wonderland, all the other galleries and museums are FREE, no charge, gratis.... just walk in and enjoy!!!

 As part of Liverpool's homotopia festival there is a fantastic, fun, exhibition of Paul O'Grady's costumes, "Savage Style". He wore many of the OTT, beautifully made, Lily Savage gowns in his pantomime appearances as well as on his TV shows. 

 It always amused me when Paul's alter ego, Lily Savage, would state vehemently that the dark patch in "her" hair wasn't the roots showing through.... it was just because she parked her fag end there overnight ready for a quick puff in the morning!!!

 I thoroughly enjoyed scrutinising all the detail of the Peter Blake exhibiton in his screen printed alphabet and, don't tell anyone, I took photos of every letter! Peter Blake is especially famous for designing the cover of the Beatle's Sergeant Pepper Album and over the last few years I have seen three exhibitions of his amazing art. 
This exhibition runs until 4th Dec 2011
Here's my very own letter J

There is also an exhibition of "The Art Books of Henri Matisse" which runs until 15th April 2012.

Sorry I didn't get round too many of you last week but family took priority so I'm sure you'll understand.
We really enjoyed seeing my DD, her DH and our lovely little 2 year old grandee. She is a little darling, such fun and so good, with a lovely character and personality, who breezed happily into our home as though it was only a week and not over a year since their last visit to England.
I finished off a collection of Winter hats for her whilst they were here and one evening, whilst she was in bed, I made these warm mittens all ready for the morning. My DD said that it was like the elves and the shoemaker!! 
I just wish those elves would whisk them back here overnight!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

WOYWW 127 and a Host of Angels

Agnes Angel
 Still waiting for the metal surface for my desk to be cut and fitted so no strawberries to be seen and it's still naked and messy. That's the desk ... not ME! Ooooh, er! It's amazing how this bothered some of you last week. We thought we'd just take the diameter but I didn't realise my table isn't round, it's oval, so a template had to made to be accurate.

This post is part of WOYWW so get over to Julia's Stamping-Ground and spend some amazing time snooping on over 100 desks from around the globe. 
A popular weekly phenomena in the world of blogging.

I'm making more Christmas decorations after making Dotty Angel last week which inspired me to experiment and see what else I can come up with. As before, I'm playing around with the quirky angels from Lost Coast designs.

Be sure to take a peek at my last post so you don't miss the info about the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the Tate Liverpool and also the Woman's Weekly Vintage special edition to celebrate the magazine's 100th birthday.

This mess is gradually transforming into.....
Mildred Moon Angel
and Sally the half cut snowflake (for our overseas readers "half cut" means almost drunk!) well look at those legs!!
I've also made quite a few angel cards, all with gilding flakes on them.
Apologies in advance, as I may not be able to visit many of you this week as Wooo Hoo!!! my family will be visiting from Germany. Can't wait! My little grandee is allowed to travel at last and although I visited them in August, my DH has not seen them since our really short visit, when she went into hospital in March. 
Here's the teddy bears picnic with the Polish tea set that I took out for her 2nd birthday in August and just look at her beautiful hair growing again! Life is getting back to a little like normal for them, but with a few restrictions and less hospital visits, but there's still a good way to go on her 2 year management programme. At least, and best of all for us, we will be able to see them all at  long last.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Makes & Takes, Woman's Weekly, & Alice.

Yesterday was the AGM of Vicky Stampers and after we had dealt with the business side, so efficiently organised by the committee and chaired by Neet, we had some crafting to do. 
Neet set us up with us a series of make and take tables and we moved from topic to topic making some lovely useful craft quickies.
These corner bookmarks are an ideal quick thank you gift or perfect useful topper for a card. As you can see, from the top right hand one, they fit over the corner of the book page. There were other options which I didn't complete but we had a great afternoon, thanks to Neet.
We also made Tea Bag cards, another handy standby for mini thank you gifts.
The little pockets hold tea bags but could easily hold After 8 mints or a money gift, etc.
Don't Miss This!
Lynn gave us the shout out about this fabulous Woman's Weekly celebration magazine, which has a 38 page vintage copy insert of the first edition of the magazine from 100 years ago. It is fabulous for using in altered art so if you are interested rush out and buy one for only £1.25 .... it's a bargain!
A couple of pages from the inside.......
You'd pay so much to buy these as background papers! 
Curiouser and Curiouser!
The Tate Liverpool has just opened a new exhibition of Alice in Wonderland which highlights the story's influence on artists through the years. The exhibition also includes the scrap books of Lewis Carol which are on display for the first time ever. For all Alice fans it is a "must see". It runs until 29th January, 2012.

For full details check out the Tate Liverpool's web site.