Thursday, 29 August 2013

Rebecca Shaw - The Village Newcomers

This is another of my uploaded books on to my kindle and I read this on my holiday (which I still need to post about).  Again this book is a bit grittier than previous books and I have noticed a different tone to these books recently.  A real page turner which costs less on the kindle if you have one or the app for the ipad.
It follows the villagers and of course some newcomers who arrive with a secret that very very gradually unfolds.
I like these series of books and may not be on a higher level, but for me I need books that are entertaining and make me want to turn the page without needing a PHD to fathom out what is going on.
I have already uploaded the next book but I am keeping that for a bit as I am now reading a paperback given to me by my SIL.
I love the summer.........reading is a great pastime I just wish I could devote more time to it.  If you find it in your library it is worth booking it out.
Best wishes

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Mollie Makes - Felty Fortune - OPAM August

I have been asked by a lot of students to go back to a weekly Textiles Club after school.  Last year I tried just having workshops that students could sign up to, these were popular but the desire to have something more became apparent.  So I have been spending time finding a range of little projects for them.
I looked through all of my Mollie Makes and found a cute little project, it is in issue 22.
Felt fortune cookies.
Sophie caught sight of what I was up to so we both sat down and set to work.
Very little felt is needed and the templates can be found on the Mollie Makes website.  They suggested that you use fabric to write your fortune cookie message.  I found that actually using paper might be easier for the students to write on and you can still stitch through it.
The hardest bit proved to be the stage when you shape it into a cookie and stitch to keep it in place.  Managed it in the end and with a bit of manipulation of the stuffing you do get what you want.  We used a range of ribbon, I used some that came with an earlier issue of Mollie Makes, but got it upside down, Doh!  So I shall use plain or pattern ribbon with the students.  I also tried one with an Indigo Blue label as well.
I am going to keep this idea and use it when it is the Chinese New Year and look up which animal the students are for the year they were born and other facts.  We did have fun making these, they do not take long and do not use much in the way of materials.
I have a few more projects lined up so I may add a new page at the top of this blog and post some pictures of any of the students work there as well.
Have fun and take care all.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

BigShot Embossed - Decorated Dividers Tutorial

Here is part two of how I have decorated my dividers for the Malden Personal Filofax so far.
This may appeal to those of you who like scrap booking or card making and by changing the measurements you can create lovely dividers very quickly.
The above picture is a close up of an embossed piece of card.
I used one of these which I have had for some time as I make cards to order and for sale at work.  This uses different dies and embossing plates and what I really like is that the bigger dies will also cut fabric.
To create the pattern in the first picture I used the above plate which is made out of a plastic which can put up with being put through a mangle style gadget without cracking and breaking.  Lovely design isn't it.........sorry I digress but textiles is my day job.
I put a piece of cream card and sandwiched it between the embossing plates and passed it through the Bigshot.  (Show you how in a minute) and then stuck it on to one of the cheap dividers that I referred to in my last Malden post.  You can leave it is this stage...or.....
... you can add to it.  Seeing as this is very similar to the hand drawn Zentagle designing I showed you in the last Malden post simply get a pen, here is am using a gold paint pen, and highlight certain parts of the design.
Leaving some areas untouched will help to promote a 3D appearance.
Here is a section of the design.  Do not over do it, stop every now and then to look at what you have done to see if it is enough.
Then attach to your divider. You could use any pen really, even good old felt tip pens rather than buying anything special.  I have used these embossing plates with just a kitchen rolling pin which I pressed down firmly with whilst rolling at the same time, but this can take a bit of practise and can be a bit hit and miss.
These plates can be bought online, from Hobbycraft, Ebay or The Range to name but a few places that I have bought them from.  Shop around they do vary in price.
I decided to go one stage further and if you intend on selling your Filofax n the future this may not be for you.  I intend on keeping my Purple Malden so I went for it..........
By using a longer plate I could insert the Filofax divider, but I left the tab sticking out.
I put this through the Bigshot.
I hope you can see it, hard to photograph and the light is not good today here in Cornwall.  The whole of the divider is now embossed.
This design is much more delicate then the first so using a paint pen will be too much.  So for now I shall leave them but I might rub some pastel or inks over it lightly with cotton wool or watercolour paints.
Part of me wishes I could get an embossing plate big enough for my A5 but then on the other hand my personal Filofax is for my website, blog , projects and art ideas so  think I shall be keeping it strictly in the personal size for now.
If I add anything to these dividers I will show you but if you have a Bigshot give it a go with either some dividers that need a revamp or some that you cut out yourself.
If you have any questions about what I did or used then leave a comment below.
Take care

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Le Challenge - WIP

Due to a slightly longer timescale I hope to be ready for the next deadline of 15th September.
The theme this time is Hero's.
It took me ages to decided what to do and I am still not sure about the final outcome.
Even got Sophie to have a think about this.
I have not completed anything using cross stitch for such as long time and I am really enjoying this.
I now just need to get it finished in time.
What are you working on at the moment?  Anyone else having a go at Le Challenge?  Click on the badge in the margin to go and see what it is all about.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Blog Award - Thank you Ali

It has been quite a long time since I was given a blog award.  Some do not like these, I do not have a problem with them at all.  They brighten up your blog, links people together and I like the fact that someone says on the Internet that they like what I am doing.
Part of it is to post 11 random facts about yourself.  Now I have done this before but life does change and you remember things that you have not said before so hopefully some of the below are new to readers.

1. I am left handed but I use scissors in my right hand.  I also knit and crochet with my right hand.  Mainly due to growing up in an all righthanded family.

2. I have lived in Germany, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Dorset, and finally Cornwall.  Much of this due to work re-location or various college courses.

3. I have been married for just over 15 years.

4. Love cheesecake!!!

5. I am a strawberry blonde and I get very annoyed if this called ginger.  There is a massive difference and should be observed as such.

6. I had my appendix removed when I was 12 and have spent the next 32 years explaining to every doctor or nurse what the scar is.

7. I love reading and  need to have a book on the go all the time.

8. I like the Pirates of the Caribbean Films.........good fun all the way.

9. I am self taught in crochet but desperately need help to move this beyond the Grannie square stage.

10. I have a real problem with remembering numbers or sequences of numbers, so reg plates, mobile numbers etc just forget it because I will.

11. Love a making challenge, whether it is swap or a custom order, it is just the thrill of making something with a specific person or criteria in mind.

There are then some questions to answer as well.  I may find it hard to come up with any useful answers but I will try.
1.What is your all time favourite craft?
Due to my job I love them all.  It would be easier to say which one I hate and that would be Quilling.

2. Where is the strangest place you have ever crafted?
Not the strangest but the most rewarding was in a school in Kenya about 1 hour outside of Nairobi.

3. What is your favourite craft time snack?
Nothing, as the aim is to keep the hands busy and away from the biscuit jar!

4.Do you prefer the radio, TV, music or other when crafting.
I have a job which is often noisy  so I actually prefer silence or in front of the TV in the evening.

5. What is your proudest achievement?
My daughter Sophie.

6. What is your biggest crafting 'dream'?
Have a workshop to run classes and publish  a crafting book.

7. Who is your inspiration?
I would like to change this slightly - Any aid worker who has gone unarmed to some of the most dangerous places on the planet.  

8. Is there a craft that you have yet to try that you would like to have a go at?
Tatting has always looked very delicate and would look lovely on garments.

9. How often do you craft (everyday, every weekend, twice a week)
Nearly every day but it is split between personal projects and samples for my lessons.

10. Are you a messy or neat crafter?
Neat, or I lose things so I have to be quite strict with myself, but every now and then I lapse and you can not see the surface of the kitchen table.

11. What or who got you started in crafting?
Not sure really although when I was at primary school we used to have a crafting session at least once or twice a week in the afternoon.  Not so sure they have the time to do quite so much today.  Primary students still love to make though, I have taught groups over the years but there is always something deemed more important to learn I suppose.  I was encouraged at home with family giving me oddments of wool and my Mum taught me to knit so I think home and school combined.

Well, if you are still awake and with me thank you as that was a long post!
I am now supposed to pass this on to 11 blogs.  I will name them here but no pressure to actually accept it - it is only a bit of fun.  You an accept, post, link to here but skip the rest if you wish.
1. Tatyana - Mouse House
2. Lynne - Textile Treasury 
5.Stitchuchess Crazy & Sane Quilting World
6. Krafty Panda
8.Cozy in Texas
9. Knitsofacto

Phew!  I think a cup of tea is now in order.

Friday, 16 August 2013

My exam result is.........

Coursework practical
Regular readers will know that for the past year I have been attending an evening class in an attempt to gain an AS Level in Art and Design: Textiles.  All started off well but fitting all of the work in and creating it  at a decent standard was not easy.
Peek from my sketchbook
As the year wore on work for the day job increased but my Wednesday evening classes was one of the highlights of my week and I loved seeing my work grow and develop.
I have a background in Fashion but the City and Guilds I followed over a decade ago was the closest thing that I had done before this art based course, so I took on quite a sharp learning curve and I am happy to admit that on a couple of occasions I thought I may have bitten off more than I could chew with a full time job and family.
************************** forward to August and I emailed my tutor yesterday to ask how to find my result on the secure website only to be told that I could have collected it on Wednesday and now I would need to wait for the post to arrive on Friday (or maybe Saturday).
Thankfully at 2pm today, there was a light thump on the door mat and there was my envelope.
For the coursework I got an       A grade
For my exam work                    A grade

Could have gone either way ya know.
So on Monday I shall be ringing up the college to sign up for the second year so that I can gain a full A'Level and lots of ideas to develop for use in my day job.
I then celebrated with a nice cup of tea!  Pity there was no cake in the house but maybe that is just as well.
I should get my work back in October and then I would like to show the work that I created.
I really am pleased and I have a silly grin on my face and it is now late evening!

The rest of the day has been taken up with Sophie having a school friend round for a sleep over so I am only posting this now.
Take care all.

Bunting Template PDF- My first attempt.

I have struggled a bit with trying to add the PDF link to blogger via Google drive.  Still not sure if I have succeeded or not and the link that I needed was being very stubborn.  I have logged out and tried to test it as if I were a visitor and I have been able to download the template PDF and print it off.  However if you have any problems please let me know as again I am on another ICT learning curve and if all else fails leave a comment or email me and I shall send the PDF as an attachment instead.
Best wishes

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Update - Little gems for The Big Knit

You may remember a couple of weeks ago that I gave the link for The Big Knit instructions and website.
Well, due to going on a plane for my holiday I decided not to take the knitting needles as I thought it might cause too many problems even if they were in my suitcase.  So I waited until I got home.
I made the above in 2009 and thought that perhaps I could try and make this years little hats a bit more fun.
I dug out some scraps left over form crocheting various projects last year and matched a few up to make the little striped hats.  By using a pom pom maker (tutorial link at the top of this blog) I even added mini pom poms to  the hats as well.
A ball of this crazy wool was sent to me as part of a giveaway I won a few years ago.  Not really enough to make anything with so it was perfect for these little hats.  It really is rather odd yarn and makes these hats very different!
Then I knitted some plain versions and added either flowers that were made on a small flower loom (tutorial can be found in the links at the top of this blog) and the hat in the front has a very small crochet flower added to it.  I carefully stitched them on with wool after I had stitched the hat together so that I could get it in the centre just right.
I stitched this to look like a square and in a nice shade of blue.
So here they are, all 10 of my "Little Gems".  The deadline is not until the 1st of October so I shall have a go at making a few more.  I used 4mm needles (UK) and you could even use shop bought pom poms if you had them, plus basic double knitting wool.  Nothing posh at all but they still caome out lovely.
 If you are also taking part in this Charity knit then please add a comment with a link to your blog or site so that we can pop over and take a look plus support each other in this good cause.
Cute are they not?  Love making these and lining them up along the shelf next to where I sit in the living room.  I might even try the new design this year of a grape, depends on how easy it will be to follow the pattern!  I am not a natural knitter at all.
Take care all and welcome to the two new followers that I had join up in the past few weeks.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Personal Purple Malden- Decorated Dividers Part 1.

Having now recovered from my "missing" post last week I have spent some time doing some work to put together a different version if it and to include my own dividers as well.  So again a slight change from the usual crafty posts.
 After I was asked to wait for a long time for this Malden to turn up despite being told it was in stock I have been spending the last few months trying to sort it out.
One for the first things that I wanted to do was make my own dividers.  Lovely thick cardstock was my first choice.  Trying to use what I already have, which is a theme for 2013.
I decided not to laminate them as this Filofax stays at home most of the time.
Included my fold out map which I have had for years dated 1992. Countries have changed but fun to look at and ideal for older Trivial Pursuit game sets!
Dabbled with decorating the pages, which I shall come back to another time.
Plus giving old supplies a new lease of life in my new Malden.
I also found some cheap WhSmith dividers which I thought I could spend time decorating rather than messing up the nice Filofax ones that came with the binder.
I started by sticking some shaped paper on to the front of one of the white dividers.
I included some patterned tape that I found on Ebay.  I have never used this before and it is lovely tape to stick and cut, smooths out nicely too.  It is a paper based tape.
Looking more interesting already, I think!
I love doing Zentangle designs, so using a black fineliner pen I started to add patterns to the stuck down papers.  
I just make the patterns up as I go along.  You can get some ideas from  Zentangling is an ancient form of pattern designing and is quite meditative as well.  Try it, I run a project at school with my younger students and they enjoy having a go.
Above is a before and after on this divider.
A close up.  Some areas can be coloured in with the pen.  I am using black but you could use any colour and any form of pen too.  Use what you already have.
This is the final outcome. Posh doodling really and anyone can have a go and produce a really nice design.  It is simply getting the hang of it and to be honest, how many of use doodle at home when we are on the phone? This took about 10-15 mins and I find it very satisfying and eye-catching.
Another example is using some scraps of card making supplies.  Some sticky edging and picture stickers to brighten up a cheap card divider.
Plus a paper tape strip down the centre of the divider before adding some free stickers on top gives the cupcake stickers a focal point rather than appearing to hang in mid air on the card.
Then I suddenly remembered the back of the divider so I took some of the tape around the back and ended it with the last of the stickers.
Here it is in my Malden.
Very different to the first divider but the aim was to try out some different ideas, media and techniques to see what I could do in a small space.
I am busy doing the rest but I have had visitors this week so been a bit distracted, but at the moment I am liking the divider with the Zentangle theme the most.
So, I have tried a piece of card stock and just cut it out, collage and zentangle plus some stickers and fancy tape!
Next time I shall be using a sizzix machine and paints!
Thank you for visiting, please leave a comment if you would like to or to just let me know you visited.
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