Friday, 29 June 2012

Concertina Niche Card

With being away so much I haven't crafted for a while, (other than my crochet on the move), but I found these photos in my files and realised that I had never posted them. A chance to post some crafting!
This is a concertina niche card that I made after I missed the workshop given by my friend Paul of the Artsiders.  Paul is really talented and makes some gorgeous shabby chic cards.
The Front
The Outer Cover
Here I used my favourite background of Distress Inks and stencils.
I then spritzed over it with gold Glimmer Mist to tone it down.
The niche before I stuffed it full of sewing ephemera
The niche before it was spritzed with inks.
From making this card I had the idea to make a concertina tag bag and the instructions for this are in my 21st May post on the sidebar. It's made in exactly the same way as the card but with one end missing and, of course, the concertina sides are cut to fit the size of the tag.
Here's another card using my latest fave stamps by Michael Powell from his Urban Stamp range.
The Concertina Sides
The Front

Thanks to her very generous invitation (does she know what she's up for?) I'm off to Cardarian's Happy Place in Slovenia, with my friend Donna, and besides plans to visit some beautiful places in a country I've never before visited, we will be doing lots of crafting on the balcony in  the shade, whilst trying to stay cool. It's 35C there!! Hopefully, I will be able to post some of what we get up to.
Watch this space!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Lavender at Inglenook Farm

Making these lavender posies reminded me that the local fields of lavender would be in bloom if mine was already out at home so we decided to take a trip to see them. I was worried I'd miss them and it would all be harvested if I left it until I returned from my visit to Cardarian's Happy Place in Slovenia, so off we toddled to the only organic lavender farm in England....
here's the link and I really wish we had "smelly blogs"...
Moss Nook Lane, WAll 8AE, on the Rainford bypass near St Helens.
I bought my plants from them some years ago and have three different varieties. Each smells so different. It would be understandable to expect the deeper colour of Pete Pan to smell stronger but the best is Munstead on the left and next is Hidcote, the right hand one.
We were disappointed as surprisingly the fields were not yet in full bloom
The essential oils and products from these plants are superb and I have used them for years.
I think I may manage to see them again so we plan a visit when my DD and family come over soon from Germany to visit. I promised the little fraulein some fish and chips and mine were so delicious at Inglenook.
The farm has really developed from just producing the oils and now has a really excellent restaurant, cafe, craft shops, art gallery, wood crafts as well as the essential oils shop, beauty and holistic therapies, farm shop and a variety of chucks and animals around the place. 

Gordon, who carves these birds and animals is self taught and it was interesting to talk to him when he took us around his woodshed and showed us his work in progress. 
We are thinking of buying one of these for in the garden but can't decide which one or where to position it.
Here's an owl in progress and one of the birds "in flight" above the wood pile.
The chucks found the shavings warm and cosy
These little Shetlands are only quite young and so sweet that I could have brought one home but it didn't want to get into my shopping bag.
There were fluffy white silkies (fowl) and goats too and as the farm is situated less than a half hour from home it is a place we will visit over and over. A nice little, short, relaxing day out.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

WOYWW Robots & Gift Packages

It's a varied untidy desk his week, in fact it's a table looking out onto the garden where I've been messing about.
Why am I showing this today? If you visit Julia, our Boss, at stamping ground blog, all will be revealed and you can join the weekly mega snoop around the globe of all the loony lovely people brave enough to show the state of their creative workplace. It's a revelation!!
 I prepped simple craft make and takes for the Summer Fete at the Deutch Kirche (German Church)which I attended with my friend Jacqui, in the centre of our city, and whilst it was mainly for children, quite a few ladies enjoyed having a go. Here rest the remains of my endeavours still waiting to be cleared. A nice bunch of lavender there too drying in the window.
We made simple, small, gift packages in which we popped a chocolate and the mini handbag with a bangle handle holds a post it note pad. They were all really popular and a wide range of ages and levels completed them successfully. Some came back to make all of the items through the day! It was really good fun and such a happy day and, with almost everyone speaking German, I felt as though I was back in Germany with my family. Shame I never had a minute to take some photos of the lovely handicrafts cakes and bread on sale. I did sample the most amazing flowery herbal punch... Waldemeister Bowle... delicious and quite potent!
Initially I created the robots as an item for the boys to make but the girls really loved them too and some ended up decorated all pink and sparkly!
There is acetate behind the apertures which is effectively "see through" when coloured and hung in a window.
Use brads to attach the arms and legs.

If you fancy keeping any children occupied through the school holidays you are  welcome to print off these templates, 3 different robots with 2 on each sheet. I find that I can cut out duplicates if I lay 1 or 2 plain sheets behind the print out (print it on card).

Older children would probably be able, with supervision, to cut out single printed sheets for themselves.

More fabulous WOYWW Birthday ATCs to share and thanks for these 3 gorgeous gals, go to,  L to R Bridget Larsen, Cardarian, and Tuire.
Thanks (L to R) for a fab topical Jubilee atc from Michelle of the Hobbyroom, the lovely living atc of poppy seeds and heart card is from LLJan and the beautiful sparkly wisteria Dream is from Lisa of the craftgarden.
Exciting times next week as Doone and I will be flying off to Slovenia, woo hoo!!! I'm so excited! We're going to wear our WOYWW badges in a far off land and visit our lovely WOYWWer friend Cardarian who has so kindly invited us to craft and have fun in her beautiful country. We are taking a couple of T shirts and a few pairs of undies and the rest will be crafty stuff.... I do hope Slovenia knows what it has got coming and I wonder what will be on our workdesk next week?? Be sure not to miss it.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Horizon Field Hamburg

Whilst we were in Germany my DD took us to Hamburg to see Antony Gormley's project
Horizon Field
Antony Gormley states that the entire project is a sounding board for the spirit and consciousness of the viewer.
The subject of the work being the people who participate. 
We entered the vast hall and had to remove our shoes and climb an open metal staircase up to the platform which is suspended high above on spiral metal cables. 
When we reached to top of the stairs we could see considerable movement of the platform and my DD was really unconfident to face taking the little one onto it as the only safety factor was a net around the edge. As soon as I stepped onto it with my DH we couldn't feel any great sensation of movement although it oscillates and the surface ripples when stepped upon. 
DH at the edge
People interacted in a variety of ways some jumped about to try to create more impact, whilst others just moved about slowly and tentatively. The surface was soft and looked like a pool of dark water and visually it was so effective producing silhouettes and reflections.
A pregnant woman meditated at the edge and another woman lay peering over the drop.
A group of women expressed themselves by Bio Dancing
The exhibition was free and whilst I was pleased to have the opportunity, I really was disappointed that I felt no extremes of emotion or sensation from the experience. If it comes to England I would certainly go again and maybe take more time to think about the experience.
Afterwards we enjoyed a fabulous lunch at the restaurant opposite the Deichtorhallen as a Father's Day treat for DH. A great rainy day!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Hand Crafted Birthday Cards

I really do appreciate all the lovely hand crafted cards I received for my birthday so I thought I'd share them here and no doubt give you lots of inspiration in the process.
Ann B's is a sewing theme where she makes an excellent result experimenting with her new Pan Pastels. Thanks Ann... I love the colour combo too!
Alison CB chose a Parisien theme for her lovely easel card. Thanks Alison, I love the use of real stamps on it.
Carmel's gorgeous poppy is on acetate and layered over an alcohol ink background. Thanks Carmel, it's gorgeous and I love poppies!
Thanks Dot for your lovely photo image stamped card. Very subtle classy shades
Thanks Enid! Some good ideas here with bunting and the way the bottom "Just for You" message pops out.
Great use of die cuts here from Glenys in black and white. 
Thanks Gill, and as ever you specialise in Asian beauties.
Fabulous alcohol inks frame, in my fave colour purple, houses the die cut cage and bird, and my thanks go to Helen. 
Thanks to Jacqui for this lovely silhouette on a shaded background.
Thanks for a giggle to Janice B... a great fun card! 
Janet W has made an expert job of these TH butterflies with, I think, Distress pens. Thanks Janet!
Joyce coloured this lovely flower on acetate and mounted and layered it so effectively. Thanks Joyce!
A lovely lady from Leo! Very stylish too, Thanks Leo!
Thanks for this classic lavender card with Flower Soft from Linda E.  
This card looks even better for real as it is stamped on soft silky mulberry paper and has a hint of mica. Thanks to Lynne W who made it for me.
Thanks to Mary G in America who kindly remembered my birthday and sent me this wacky toucan tag. The stamp is one of Sue Coccia's amazing Animal Spirit Designs and thanks so much to Mary who also sent me a Woolly Mammoth stamp from the same range.
I must get the Lynne Perrella stamps pretty soon from PaperArtsy and I love this one that Neet used so effectively. Thanks Neet ... I love the tiny details that can'tbe easily seen here.
As I've listed in alphabetical order it's now last but not least with a shabby chic special in shades of white with big thanks to Paul B. 
Paul is an expert in making fabulous paper flowers, and I love it and the butterfly too!