Sunday, 20 November 2011

Buttons, buttons everywhere

Crafters often have a thing for buttons. I have, I know many other crafters who have and the craft shops are full of little packets of buttons. But there is a new twist to working with buttons. Actually, it's a very old twist - thread wrapped buttons.

I was watching Create and Craft on TV a few weeks ago and a lady, Gina Barrett, came on to show us how to make thread wrapped buttons. So pretty. I was inspired, nay, hooked. So I bought her first DVD and have been making buttons ever since (well, when I get five minutes to sit down and relax). A few simple materials are all that are needed - threads (I used size 5 and 8 cotton perle, rayon, embroidery silk or floss and viscose gimp) and button moulds to wrap the thread around (I use a double layer of watercolour paper although there are proper wooden moulds available). They have wonderful names like 'Death's Head Wrap', 'Star of David' and 'Chequerboard'. Each design is a genuine button making technique from the 14th century onward. I think that is part of the reason they appealed to me so much. I love history and to be able to make something that people made in the past is a direct link to history.

I have included a few pictures of my buttons here but if you want to check out Gina's web site where she sells her DVDs and other goodies then you can find it here .

For the birds

I love painting warm and fuzzies, i.e. mammals. They are undoubtedly my favourite animals. But over the last few weeks I have been adding more birds to my stock of paintings.

My garden is full of birds, from the usual garden birds like blackbirds, great tits and green finches to less common visitors to this area, nuthatches and long tailed tits. Add to that the countryside birds like partridges and pheasants and the garden is frequently crammed to overflowing. Last week while I was out walking I got very excited when I saw a goldcrest in the hedgerow. I always wanted to see one but thought they didn't exist in this area. So I was very excited, so excited that my attempt to photograph it was stymied by my hands shaking with excitement. As a result I have plenty of subject matter for producing bird paintings. The three birds below all visit my garden and now they have been immortalized in watercolour. How many birds can say that?

I have listed these three birds on Etsy along with a few other ones so if you want to check them out then drop on by. There is also a variety of commission that I have been asked to paint over the last few weeks. Check out the 'sales' section on the left of the page to see them.

Tools and techniques

My words of wisdom are on The Altered Page today along with those of a multitude of talented people. It's all about techniques and tools so pop on by and see what we creative types think are our favourites.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Day of the Dead earrings

Yesterday one of my fabulous customers, Eri, sent me a link to some earrings she made using some of my Day of the Dead beads. Absolutely magical. The triangles are made from wood, decoupaged and decorated with glitter glue and swarovski flatback rhinestones to make individual and funky earring tops. My beads are sandwiched between gold plated rondelles with AB clear rhinestones that show them off to perfection. I always enjoy seeing what people use my beads for but these earrings really blew me away. If you want to see them in greater detail then take a look at Eri's Etsy shop, ericosmicgirl, or the listing here.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Over on Billie's Craft Room...

... I am the artist of the month. Billie came across my work thanks to Seth Apter's Pulse project and very kindly asked me if I would contribute to her blog. I was more than pleased to be asked and wrote a few of my thoughts down for her to publish. It has been such a thrill and a great pleasure. If you want to take a look and find out a little more about me then drop by her blog and say hello.