Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why we will not get snow this year.

Last year we had deep snow and a lot of it.  We had not been savvy and bought a snow shovel, so when the snow came we had to dig ourselves out using a garden spade.  Not a very practical option.  We did visit all the local DIY outlets and garages in the vain hope of finding one, but it was all to no avail.  I ended up nailing a bit of hard board onto a curtain pole and made a passible shovel, but it had to be used carefully and din't do much better than the spade.
This summer, on one of the warmest days of the year, we were shopping in Asda and saw some snow shovels. We bought one and I carried it back through the car park to the car with the wise crack "you expecting snow?"
The children laughed when they saw it too.
Since the summer the snow shovel has been standing by the door in the kitchen waiting for snow.  I suspect God's sense of humour is in full play and I don't expect we'll get to use it, although the inner child in me wants to play with it.
So as the cold spell bites and various of my virtual friends reports snowfall, I shall sit and wait and wait and wait..... maybe next year!

Monday, January 30, 2012

More Of My Blog Posts

I've been writing blog posts for the UK Crafts Forum Blog.
You can check out my latest posts

Crafts Forum Knitters

 how to Use Twitter

Friday, January 27, 2012

Holocaust Rememberence Day

A story of bravery 

Twittering About Twitter

I love Twitter.  It's a really valuable tool when promoting your crafts and it's also a great way to pass time if you get bored.  There is always someone to chat to.
Twitter, for those who don't know is a quite way to pass on information.  You pop a message into a box using 140 characters or less and then press a button and thousands of people can see it.
To find out what twitter could do for you and to find step by step usage instructions go to the post I wrote about it on the Uk Crafts Forum Blog

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quilling ~ Jane and Josie Jenkins

Many many years ago as a teenager I attended a local village day at Cave Castle in South Cave.  Whilst there I was enthralled by watching a lady called Jane Jenkins, quilling.  In effect, she was rolling strips of beautifully coloured paper and forming patterns and images on greetings cards.  She mentioned tome that she was going to be starting a night class in the school for the art of quilling and calligraphy.  I was really excited and asked mum and dad if they would pay for me to go. I remember attending the first one.  The rest of the ladies in the class seemed so much older than me, but they were a friendly bunch.  The first half of each class was for calligraphy (the art of decorative scripting) Jane had contact with someone who kept geese and we were each given a goose feather and a tiny snipit of a coke can.  we cut the quills and inserted the coke can and then we were ready to write.  I can still remember all the techniques. (the local church even asked me to fill in all the confirmation certificates using these newly learned skills.)
Then we moved onto the second hour.   Quilling.  Jane had some amazing samples she'd made to show us and she opened a huge suitcase full of paper kits that she explained she'd had cut especially.  The quilling papers were beautiful and it almost seemed a shame to wreck them.  Gradually over the weeks we learned flat quilling and then out came the eggs.  I loved the egg work.  some cut in half and hinged, some covered completely.

I embraced the quilling and made gifts and cards for many people including my Grandma, who treasured each and every one. including this egg which  was later given to my daughter.
This morning on the Uk Crafts Forum, Jane's daughter Josie was talking about some classes she is going to running to teach quilling in Liverpool.  I hope that people enjoy themselves as much as I did with her mum.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creation sings

Promoting Your Crafts

When you have spent time designing and creating beautiful craft items, it's a shame just to put them onto your website and leave it up to the Google Gods to find you.  You need to get promoting yourself.  There are many places that you can use and one of them is Crafts Juice.
Craft juice allows you to post your item, receive votes and once you've got 5 posts, be posted onto the prestigious front page with an official Craft Juice Tweet to go with it.
You can find out how to use craft juice using this tutorial that I have written.  It really is very simple to do.

Burns Night

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 
Painch, tripe, or thairm : 
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace 
As lang's my arm. 

The groaning trencher there ye fill, 
Your hurdies like a distant hill, 
Your pin wad help to mend a mill 
In time o'need, 
While thro' your pores the dews distil 
Like amber bead. 

His knife see rustic Labour dight, 
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight, 
Trenching your gushing entrails bright, 
Like ony ditch; 
And then, O what a glorious sight, 
Warm-reekin', rich! 

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive: 
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive, 
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve 
Are bent like drums; 
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, 
Bethankit! hums. 

Is there that owre his French ragout 
Or olio that wad staw a sow, 
Or fricassee wad make her spew 
Wi' perfect sconner, 
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view 
On sic a dinner? 

Poor devil! see him owre his trash, 
As feckless as wither'd rash, 
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash; 
His nieve a nit; 
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash, 
O how unfit! 

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, 
The trembling earth resounds his tread. 
Clap in his walie nieve a blade, 
He'll mak it whissle; 
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned, 
Like taps o' thrissle. 

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care, 
And dish them out their bill o' fare, 
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware 
That jaups in luggies; 
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer 
Gie her a haggis! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

What to do with bottle tops

After seeing this question on the UK crafts Forum this morning, I decided to take a look around and see what other people are doing and the result is this pinterest board

There are some great ideas.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Etta James

Etta James
January 25, 1938 - January 20, 2012

My New Proddy

This year so far, I've been concentrating on fabric crafts and although I have made rag rugs like the ones above See Here,  I have yet to do the other style of tradional rug the Proddy Rug, so called because of the prodding tool used to make holes in Hessian base.

To get me started I purchased this beautiful proddy tool with a captive ring that has been made by Philip James Addy of The Isle of Man.   i shall look forward to using it.   You can see more of Philips work HERE

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Introducing the Sock Monkeys

I've had a busy few days making sock monkeys. Each one has it's own personality.
You can see all the monkeys I currently have for sale HERE

Friday, January 13, 2012

How To Dry Flowers

Dried Flowers have many uses in crafting.  You can dry almost any type of flower.  There are various methods that can be used, but by far the simplest one is to hang the flowers upside down.
remove as many of the leaves from the stems as possible.  Tie three or four stems together using sewing cotton and hang upside down in a dark, dry , warm place.  The flowers will take between a week and three weeks to thoroughly dry.  There may be some fading of the flowers in this process, but that can actually look really nice.
The flowers shown in the first picture are Helichrysum and are paper like in structure.  They hold their shape and colour.  (pick them before the centre of the flower develops)
Hydrangea heads have been used in this pot pourri
(make your own pot pourri tutorial HERE)

flowers that work really well for drying include
Larkspur - blues, pinks and white
Nigella - green seed heads
Opium poppies - blue/grey seed heads
Amaranthus - dark red, green or 'biscuit'
Statice - blue, pink, yellow and white

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Writing For Another Blog ~ UK Crafts Forum Blog

The Uk Crafts Forum Blog is a blog that talks about all things craft, crafters and their creations.  I am a regular writer for them and  recent posts that I have written include:
Rag Rugs
Needle Felting
Secret Santa Gifts

Make Lavender Wands

Gabriel's Oboe

This is my favourite piece of music.  Gabriels Oboe by Ennio Morricone.  It was written as the soundtrack for a Robert De Nero film called the mission.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pink Rag Rug

This is my latest rag rug is a pink toned rug with accents of lilac, blue, green and orange.
You can find out more about it HERE

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Beach Of My Dreams

My favourite place to be is on a windswept beach.  i love beach combing and always have.  I have memories of being a child on one of my yearly Northumbrian holidays walking along the deserted beaches and seeing a man pulling a cart along collecting driftwood, fishing net and other exciting looking trreasures.
I was hooked on beach treasures from that moment and although I have never owned a cart, I have uindulged the inner beach comber, rescuing druiftwood and rope.
One of the things I treasure is sea glass.  I t's beautiful washed surfaces have taken tears of being shaped by mother natures gentle buffeting.  (the man made attempts are nothing like the real deal)
These pictures are taken from a newspaper article about a beach in California that would be my dream beach.  It was formally a dump where rubbish was left through the 1950's until the 1960's when it was realised that toxins were poisoning the environment, but what began life as unwanted rubbish is now a beautiful glass pebble beach and it attracts tourists to it's glorious sparkling treasure.
Mother nature fought back and won.

It is an offence to remove glass from the beach.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

I love this mosaic mirror by Funky Mosaics.  it's available from her Folksy Shop 

Denim Rugs

This is another denim rug that I have made from recycled jeans.  This one contains 5 pairs of jeans.
available to purchase HERE

Pebble Boot Trays

Found this great idea for keeping your entrance free of muddy and wet boot marks.
Simply take a baking tray, line with a towel and cover over with pebbles. (obviously don't do this if your pets or children are going to swallow the pebbles)

I think this makes a very stylish shoe stand.

Celebration of Epiphany

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Recycling Jeans

My first project of 2012 is well underway.  It began when I was tidying out the cupboards and came accross some old faded outdated jeans.  There was no way I could wear them and they weren't worn out ....... so out came the scissors, the seams and pockets were removed and then I ripped them all up and turned them into this.

 just a bit more to do now.

This rug is available from HERE


I am currently waiting for lots of things, including:
felting needles and wool tops (for my new hobby)
books I have ordered
M&S to refund on some trousers that were sent back

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year & A New Start

This is my very special memory necklace.  It was created using odd earrings that I have stored in my jewellery box,  It also contains broken necklaces, buttons from my children's clothes and other little trinkets I have stored away.
I have created these memory necklaces for other people using their own special treasures.

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