Pages on my blog

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The perils of silk

Yes, working with silk has its drawbacks. On occasion it gets snagged on something and you lose 15 meters of thread in one fell swoop. This morning it was a pair of scissors that got tangled as I was releasing the lengths of thread to make a silk cord. It is definitely time for a break.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Spring flowers

I have been making samples for Gina-B Silkworks over the last few weeks. Spring is in the air and the bulbs in the garden are in bloom so I was definitely inspired by them. Ganutell (wire and thread work) seems to be very popular at the moment. Take a look at the images on search engines these days and it seem to have inspired lots of people. It is lovely to see that what was a dying art has become more mainstream.



Monday, 27 February 2017

Birds of a feather and a badger

At the start of the new year I wanted to promise myself that I would draw more this year. I did very little drawing or painting last year. None, in fact. This year (all two months of it) I have 'attempted' to do more. Not as much as I had hoped but something. It seems a shame to have a skill and not use it. So here are the first drawings of the year. I hope there will be more to come. I have a couple of small paintings on the drawing board at the moment too. The trick is finding time to get them finished.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Just a little show and tell

Not much to report on the creative side this week. There has been lots of bead making, of course. Other than that, just a couple of new samples using buttons. A notepad made using grey board as the backing which I covered in K&Co papers and a glass nightlight holder made using ribbons and a bit of bling.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Return of the faithful

The title refers to some paper beads I used to sell that were very popular. Each paper bead was hand painted and I had been having problems with the ink going on the paper. Every time I had to change brands of paper the ink behaved differently. So, in the name of reliability, I stopped selling them. For years I played with digital images in an effort to get the same effect. Sadly I never found the look I was searching for. However, by sheer fluke, I was playing around with a vintage style digital image, grabbed the colour controls in my photo processing programme and wiggled a few of them about. Within 30 seconds the perfect image appeared. I printed it out - just to make sure. Perfect indeed. Cue the re-emergence of the old beads. The first lot are the Oriental calligraphy beads - now called Vintage Chinese Calligraphy. The next lot will be the Vintage Word paper beads (I will post about them when they are finally available). I am so pleased. For years people have requested both sets of beads. Now I can offer them for sale again.

Vintage Chinese Calligraphy paper beads

Oriental Calligraphy paper beads

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Socks - again

Another pair of new socks - this time using Regia's Arne and Carlos 6 ply yarn in Star Night. It was not quite as nice to work with as the 100% merino yarn I have used before but I suspect the merino socks will need darned sooner than these socks will. This yarn does seem much tougher. They are certainly very toasty and warm to wear. Just what I need on the continuing dull and cold days.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Story without words

My craft related shopping this week. I don't suppose there is much more to be said about this picture when you take into account my last post about sock knitting 😉

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

An important milestone

For a long time I have wanted to knit socks. Trouble was - I don't enjoy knitting. It makes my hands hurt and the trauma of knitting lessons at school put me off going back to it in later life. However Craftsy was having a sale. I am sure a lot of you know what it's like. You are going about your daily life, not thinking of anything in particular, see a book, tutorial or class advertised or recommended and 'Ooo, how to sew a quilt/make deluxe chocolates/knit a sock. I have always wanted to try that'. Next thing you know you have bought said book, tutorial or class.

I have to say, the class was really clear and simple to follow. I don't think I would have ever got around to knitting a sock if it wasn't for that class. It was Craftsy's 'My First Toe Up Sock' with Susan B. Anderson and I would definitely recommend it for a beginner. Full instructions are given from measuring your feet correctly to finishing off the socks. You can see how stitches are formed thanks to some great close up work. I could see exactly what I was meant to do - and that is great when you are doing something new for the first time. A full written pattern is also supplied in the course materials.

This is my first pair of socks but I have already bought two other lots of yarn in order to knit more. This one is in double knit/worsted weight superwash merino. It is lovely and soft and cozy. The second will be in the same weight of wool but brighter colours (pink, purple and lettuce green). The pair after that will use Arne and Carlos' self patterning yarn. It is a finer weight and uses smaller needles. That will be a whole new challenge.

As for stopping my hands hurting while knitting - I discovered the Norwegian way of knitting. It is much like Continental knitting but with slight variations. The stitches are worked much closer to the tips of the needles and the movement is all in the finger tips instead of the whole hand and wrist. Arne and Carlos have a nice little video on YouTube where they show the basics. Definitely worth a look.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Drifting towards Christmas

A quick pic today - little decorative elements that I have attached to Christmas gifts for my family. They are made from driftwood pieces and painted in acrylic paints. The recipients can even hang them on their trees next year if they like.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

More new beads

I finally got around to getting more of those beads made that I mentioned a few weeks back. Two sets, one with ethnic style elephants and the other in autumn coloured ethnic designs. As always, they are available in my Etsy store. I also found a few sets of hand painted beads that will be listed in the sale section of the store come the new year.

Elephant paper beads

Ethnic Autumn paper beads