Thursday, 30 April 2009


I made these for a house-shaped ATC swap and you can probably tell how much fun I had with my favourite brown vintage look ....

What I was actually thinking about was a sideways take on the word "house" and I finally came up with "royal house", which became the theme for this set.

I used two different scrapbook papers for the main house and the roof, and added a strip of paper lace between them. I used my favourite Kelly Panacci stamps on the body of the house (those babies get everywhere, have I had my money's worth or what?) in soft browns. Thinking about Victoria as a long-time widow I then overstamped in black an edging that made me think of those wonderful glass Victorian hearses ...

Victoria herself then made an appearance in a gorgeous photo gleaned from Google images of the queen in her Empress of India full regalia. She's got such a pinched mouth and sniffy expression that I added the words "she was not amused", and the finishing touch was a German scrap gold coronet.

Though I don't usually like making multiples of anything, six wasn't too bad and I did really enjoy putting these together, and they're winging their way to the swap organiser now ....

Monday, 27 April 2009


I'm not sure if I'm doing this right - Linda taught me the basics of needle felting the other week, but I keep straying into not so much felting (like the central area) to laying down threads and yarns. I like the result however, but forgot to take a picture before I added some gold machine embroidery (see left).

Then last night I sat in a bad light (not the world's best idea) and added all sorts of beads and sequins to it, and I'm rather pleased with the result!! Whether it's needle felting or not I do like it! I should add that it's only little - about 4" square - as I'm still exploring and not quite ready for larger pieces yet.

This will make a little art piece for my newly painted Studio (if I can ever persuade my beloved to finish the awkward bits).

Friday, 24 April 2009


The Studio is nearly done but I am frustrated at waiting for my beloved who has promised to finish the last fiddly bits of painting in a place I find it difficult to reach. Despite promises all week it hasn't happened yet and now he's gone out for the day. Doesn't he understand that I want it done NOW??? Yesterday in fact ...

However, in the meantime I did actually manage a piece of work for our challenge over on Awfully Big Art Adventure, which this time is to use this wonderful old photo sent to us by a mutual friend. The photo is believed to date to around 1880.

Of course, you know me, I was making up a story as I worked ... this is Alice who at the age of 17 left home to work in the Worcester Co-Operative Stores, and writes home regularly to her widowed father to let him know how she's getting on. She's also sending him a picture of herself with her landlady's parrot which has become a great friend. The real story seems to be that she owned a bakery, but I prefer mine!

This page will form part of a little book of vintage images I'm putting together (as you can see by the binding holes on the right), which is only 3.5 x 4". Just lately I've realised that if you don't post pictures with an idea of the size people can start imagining something much bigger, or indeed smaller ....

Monday, 20 April 2009


Nothing arty to show you here because we've been decorating ... you will have seen from the pictures of my Studio that it was yellow. Unfortunately rather a lot of pink had crept in in the past couple of years! When we moved here 3 years ago I was working from home and travelling a lot to supervise projects, and so was trying to make a feminine office - hence the warm yellow walls and pretty yellow curtains ...

Six months later I had to "retire" through ill health ... which was when the pink stuff started. To cheer myself up I bought a bright pink filofax diary to replace my sensible black work one, and gradually more and more and MORE pink crept in! Not being a fan of pink and yellow this colour scheme has gradually got on my nerves until I finally decided it had to go. Because of my muscle problem painting is quite painful for me, but with a little help (no make that a LOT of help) from my beloved, and doing it one section at a time day by day, it is now almost complete! Sneaky previews in the photos tell you something about the NEW colour scheme, and it's now brighter and lighter than before. Very soon I hope to be back in the art production line ...

Friday, 17 April 2009


Just back from a LOVELY visit with Linda (partner in crime on Awfully Big Art Adventure) - it's months since we managed to get together. So of course I haven't been at home making stuff, but Linda taught me the gorgeous art of needle felting and I am so excited about it! You can see my very first effort - felted a mixture of yarns and angelina onto black felt, and then stitched over it with the sewing machine. I've started another piece now so watch this space!!

We also managed to fit in a visit to a superb exhibition called "Living Threads" where we both bought a little kit to make felt flowers - by knitting them from wool yarns then sticking them on a hot wash! Can't wait to try that out.

And as you can see we bought a few bits and pieces from this brilliant craft shop which is like an Aladdin's cave of bankrupt stock etc. You just have to get in there and RUMMAGE, so we did!! The funny little picture frames were 25p each and just cried out to be altered ....

Monday, 13 April 2009


What with it being Holy Week I haven't had much time to do anything arty, but just look what I found down the cheapy shop! Sweet little birdy nests about 2 1/4" across and each containing 3 eggs. They were in a packet of six for £1.99, but when I took them to the till they were 99p so I bought two! Obviously items like this will be cleared after Easter so look out for some bargains.

Not sure yet what I'm going to do with them - the eggs are a bit plastic looking so I may paint them, and I'll probably end up remaking them before I'm done, but aren't they GREAT? Look out for them in future projects.

I shan't be around much this week because I'm off to Linda's to play for a couple of days - she's going to teach me needle felting and we're going to an exhibition and all sorts of stuff! Can't wait!

Thursday, 9 April 2009


I was just playing around and enjoying myself yesterday (something I don't seem to be doing nearly enough of) and came up with this.

It's on terracotta card and I've stamped a decorative edge in black. The main image is an Invoke Arts stamp which I've used to frame an icon. I was sort of thinking about south America and of course this is a milagros shape, and that's why I added some bright colours because they seemed right.

I can't decided whether I like the result or not, so thought I'd put it here and let you decide! It can go in the bin with all the other failures .....

Sunday, 5 April 2009


An online tutorial (here) started off the production of bottle cap pincushions - they are so cute and less than 2" wide across the base, although of course you could use larger bottlecaps. Linda made me the pink and blue one, which as you can see has gorgeous embroidery and French knots. I made the other two, but couldn't find my embroidery stitches book (it's here somewhere I KNOW it is ...) so sewed star beads on instead. They are great fun to make and are wonderful presents to give.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


Recently I've very much enjoyed browsing through some blogs which show various Studio/Scrap room spaces - some of which take your breath away! My husband thinks I've got a lot of stuff, but I tell him "you ain't seen nuthen"! Some rooms look more like shops ....

Anyway, I can't actually show you what I've been making in the past few days because it's for Friday's challenge on the Awfully Big Art Adventure, so I thought instead that I'd share some of my studio space.

I'm lucky enough to have a whole room on the 3rd storey of our house - not an attic exactly but up under the roof just the same. I've loved this room ever since we moved in, in fact I bagged it for my own before we even got here - it just has lovely proportions and light, and a wonderful atmosphere. I have a desk for my computer on the left, and in the bay window I have a built-in unit with a kitchen worktop. From here I can look out over the garden and the rooftops, and never tire of the view in all weathers. The room started off yellow and blue, but gradually more or more pink has crept in ...

In the centre of the room sits our old dining table which provides a home for the weekly groups and classes that I run. What's the point of having all this space if I don't share it? I love having people come in "to play" as my husband puts it!! It's not that tidy here but I am in the process of doing some storage reorganisation, and after that I'll post more pictures.

Along the wall from my computer desk is an Expedit bookcase and a wardrobe which acts as a cupboard. I also have wall shelves on the right above the radiator beyond the table. It all feels a bit disjointed at present, but there's hardly a straight line in this old house built in 1787 so I have to work with what I have. In the end, tidy or not (and it is most of the time) it's MY space, and when I come into it every morning I just give thanks for my sanctuary. Being disabled, once I get up here I tend to stay, so we have an intercom telephone system for family communication!