Monday, 29 September 2008

Pumpkin pie

I was a little concerned by what I said in my last post about pumpkins being rare this year. It really is a big deal for me. I love my annual pumpkin carving. It gives me another outlet for my creativity. So I was inspired to create my own pumpkin out of wool roving. Craftside posted about making needle felted pumpkins this week so I followed the instructions there and made this little guy. I used a bright orange roving as the base and added a little 'cheesecake' (that is the name of the colour - I was not rubbing dessert over the surface of my creation) roving on top. The stalk was made from a lovely sap green roving. Don't fancy making pumpkin pie out of this one though.

The rest of the greetings cards I have been making are here too. Penny Black stamps were used on the kids cards and a Heidi Swapp mask came into play in making the paper for the anniversary card. It is going to take some time to get used to the mask. The end result is not as slick as I would like. I think I am done with card making until the end of the year when I have a couple of more birthdays. The notebook is a gift for a relative. A standard, spiral bound notebook covered in hand painted papers and rubber stamped with a Heidi Swapp stamp.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Pretty in pink

As I write, the sky outside is pink, the hills powder blue and the robin is singing in my garden. It is slightly frosty too so it is a beautiful autumn evening. I will have to keep my eyes open for the first of the pumpkins in the supermarket. Because this year has been so wet I expect there will be a lack of them around...again. We go through this every year. For one reason or another there is a shortage. But I must have my pumpkin to carve!

I have been making cards again this week. There is a flurry of anniversaries and birthdays coming up so I have been hard at it.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

This week's creativity

I have spent the last week and a half doing some home improvement. I had to lay some floorboards to stop the winter winds blowing through the cracks in the floor. On the worst winter nights I used to be able to watch the carpet lifting from the floor, oozing and puffing up like a monster from the black lagoon. But now I need new carpet so the boards have been laid to keep the electricity bills down and the wind out. Then came the carpet. This is a job I have done many times before but it is not the most fun. It is a very hot, sweaty and exhausting job trying to lay carpet in a room where you can only remove half of the furniture at a time. I had to empty one half of the room, lay the carpet, move the furniture back along with the stuff from the other half of the room then lay the other half. Phew. There just isn't the room in my house to put all the furniture at once. There has not been much creativity as a result - just a few cards, a decorated notebook and some inchies.

Fly away, birdies

The sky is thick with housemartins and swallows today. Soon they will depart for warmer climes but today they are performing wild feats of acrobatics, swooping and diving outside my window. I don't think I have ever seen so many in one place. They congregate on the telephone wires in large numbers but over the last few years their numbers have been low. The experts suggested it was due to disease, many being killed off both here and in Africa (their winter destination). They must be back on form this year though.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Pretty brads

Another new discovery today. I have some large, brass brads that have been sitting in my craft drawer for over a year. I don't know why I bought them but they are of little use to me. I was going to send some to a swap hostess but they are very boring. Then I remembered one of my favourite techniques that I have used for making beads and decorating metal discs. It came from Issue 13 of Cloth, Paper, Scissors (Dipped & Delightful by Kelly Perkins) and I have used the techniques hundreds of times since I read the article.

I dabbed two colours of alcohol ink onto the top of the brads and let it dry. Then I rubbed the tops on an embossing ink pad and dipped them in clear embossing powder. A quick blast with a heat gun (using tweezers to hold them) and another dip into clear embossing powder. Before I reheated them I tapped out a tiny amount of silver or copper embossing powder and a little glitter ready for the next step. It just saves time before the embossing powder cools. So another blast with the heat gun and I dipped the edges in the metallic embossing powder and a little of the glitter. More heat with the heat gun to blend them all together and I allowed some of the embossing powder mixture to drop off onto some paper/craft sheet/glass/tile. Just one little drop as the top of the brad was a bit deformed and heavy due to too much powder. This creates a nice dome when the brad is held upright. Once cool there is a beautiful decorative brad that is much nicer to send as a swap gift. The little drips that are the by-product of the technique can be picked off the paper/tile/etc and stuck onto cards, ATCs inchies or whatever as they are slightly coloured and sparkly.

Monday, 1 September 2008


It's September!!! This is the time of year that I actually feel best. The weather is cool, the trees are changing their livery, animals are running around stuffing themselves silly before winter. Ahh! The best time of year as far as I am concerned. From now until Christmas I should have more energy so work will actually get done. I HATE the summer. I always feel like I am decomposing from the inside out. The weather is too hot, the insects drive me mad and I suffer from hayfever. Now I can look forward to those bright frosty days (providing we actually have frost as it has been lacking over the last few years) listening to the robins twittering in the trees.

To prove what I have just said about having more energy I have scanned my coloured pencil dog again. I have been working on him today and this is my progress report. I am finding the pencils easier to work with now. I had been trying to follow a couple of step-by-step projects of dogs but have just discovered that trying to draw my own way works better. Now, that might sound obvious to some but when I tried it before I was getting nowhere fast. I believe I needed to try other artist's techniques in order to find my own.