Thursday 28 February 2013

Paper Roses

I found an interesting tutorial for paper roses, made out of coffee filters.  You can find it here..

So, of course, I thought I should have a go.

I had some coffee filters already in the cupboard, and I bought some florist wire and tape from Hobbycraft.

Within the tutorial was a link for a petal template - click HERE to find it.

I couldn't be bothered to print it out, so I just took a guess and drew it from the screen shot.

When it came to colouring the rose, the suggestions were red wine, or beetroot juice.  I did have a jar of pickled beetroots but well out of date, and when I opened the jar the baby beets looked like ugly brown muddy balls - nice!  So, I wasn't going to use that.

I looked at the wine, but on that particular night I was giving my liver a rest. I knew if I opened the bottle I would drink it, so I opted for red wine vinegar instead.  It didn't really have the desired effect, in fact it just made the rose look a bit brown, and the smell....... urgh!

I think it needs more petals to be honest, and the middle petals needed to be cut smaller as the formation is not as 'rose like' as it should.  And it smells funny :)

I might have another go sometime though.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Magazine submissions

I've been sorting a few photographs out on my PC and came across a folder with some of my magazine submissions in.

I don't think I have blogged about all of these before, and I cannot remember much detail about them now, so I will just share the photos with a few words.

Stardust Earrings

Cube Bracelet, I got front cover of Bead for this one.

Zesty Necklace, with beads made by Tan Grey.

Four Seasons choker.  Had lots of fun with this piece, loads of embellishment.

Slave Bracelet, not a very politically correct title and for that I apologise.

Chocolate & Marshmallow Discs. 

Flower Cabochon Pendant, one of those decorative pebbles you can buy in homeware stores, beaded around.

A twisty sapphire blue beaded necklace with a Murano heart focal.

Figaro Chain earrings, dangly and interesting, but without being heavy.

Lillybells bracelet.  A mixture of beadwork and stringing.  Each glass bead is nestled in it's own little beaded cup.

One of my favourites.   A lucite flower bracelet with a watch face.  Very full, bustling with colour.

Loop Earrings.  I loved making these, they remind me of a Spanish dancer doll I had when I was young.

Gemstone Twist - you said tumblestones were uncomfortable?  Not when they are sewn into a spiral with seed beads.

Blueberry Cluster, a very heavy piece with various sizes of glass cats-eye beads.  Incredibly tactile.

And I will leave you with this one, my Daisy Chain.  This piece can be made as long or as short as you like, and it is threaded together like you would a real daisy chain.

If you would like any of these patterns, I am sure I will still have them somewhere, just ask and I will email then over  :)

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Added labels to my blog

I have just spent a good few hours adding 'labels' to my blogs.

This means, at the bottom of each blog post you will see some words that are relevant to the post, each are click-able and will take you to other posts with that label.

For example, if you click on MAGAZINE, you will find some of the magazines I have been in with my designs.

You might click on UPCYCLING and see all the bits I have tried to make look a little different by adding paint, jewels, paper etc....

And try OTHER ARTISTS WORK, this will show you some of the amazing stuff I have come across over the years.

Have a play  :)  

(although they are no labels on this blog as it doesn't contain anything to look at !)

Monday 25 February 2013

Personalised Boots

Before I get loads and loads of praise - I DID NOT do these, but how I wish I did and that I could take credit for them.

Aren't they beautiful?  I just had to share.

They were created for my daughter by the terribly talented Marie from "Nim & Num".

They started off plain red and Marie 'doodled' on them in her doodley style.

She is going to be offering them up for sale very soon - in various colours and sizes....the best bit being they will be totally personalised to suit the wearer, with names on the tongues if you so desire.

You can find them on her Facebook page, where you can also contact her if you fancy commissioning a pair.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Baked Brie

Yesterday I went to  my parents house for a cuppa.

My Mother disappeared into the kitchen to make the brew, returning with a cup in one hand and a wedge of Brie in the other!!

Daddy L's face was a picture, "That's MY cheese" he said.  She told him that they couldn't possible eat all the cheese they had in the fridge and that I would use it quicker  :)

So I pocketed it rather quickly.

That evening I decided I would bake it in pastry.

So, what you do is.....

Grab a wedge of Brie and a packet of puff pastry.

Roll the pastry, plop the Brie on top and smother with something... I used chilli and lime relish.  But you could use cranberry jelly, or redcurrant jam.

Bring the edges up into a nice rustic messy pie, dampen the edges and squidge close.

Bake with the seam down for around 25 mins at Gas 6, or until nice and golden.

Eat with lots of iceberg lettuce  :)  (serves 2)

After eating, I did text Daddy L to let him know how delicious his cheese was  ;)

(My photos seem to be awful these days, my little snappy camera seems to be not focusing properly, perhaps it's time for a new one.)

Saturday 23 February 2013

This bunny...

This bunny... was discovered stuffed in a carrier bag in the attic.

This bunny... has been in that carrier bag since late 1990. (23 years ago)

This bunny... was created (by me) while I was pregnant with my first child (now aged 22).

This bunny... was never finished, so stayed naked for over 22 years, in her carrier bag, in the attic (she even moved house twice!).

This bunny... had her clothing all cut and ready to sew along side her in her carrier bag.

This bunny... has finally has her plight recognised and has had her clothing finished.

This bunny... will never go back into the attic, instead she is going to sit on Shona's bed with her brand new pink pyjamas.

Friday 22 February 2013

Book review pledge

I am in the process of having a good GOOD tidy up in The Shed.

I am getting a craft room (more on that soon), so I need to separate stuff I want to keep from stuff I need to sell.

The Shed is really my working space for my Bead Business and I am having a huge half price sale to get some stock shifted.  It is a massive shed - more like a log cabin, measuring 16 x 20 feet, it had to be huge to get the contents of our shop inside when we closed it down, so as you can imagine it is pretty full of stuff in there.

I keep a lot of my beading books in there, I have too many (can you have too many books?)  What you are about to see is just the beading, and jewellery related, books.  The knitting, crochet, soap making, felting, baking and lots of other books are all in the house - scattered around various rooms. I can't wait to get them all together in one place.

Now, I am slightly ashamed to say, I barely look at these books.

How could I not, there are some beautiful books in there.

So, what I pledge to do, is every month (starting this month) pick a book of the shelf at random, read it, review it, and make something from it.

Nudge me if I forget wont you?  ;)

Thursday 21 February 2013

Ripple blanket update

Time to share my blanket update.

I have found myself with two on the go.  This is because I cannot be trusted to finish off one project before starting another.  Ho-hum.

So, let's start with Blanket No 1:

In shades of pinks and purples, this one is hopefully for throwing over the back of my sofas.  One of the sofas is in front of the window, the cats love to sit there - people watching and sunbathing (sometimes!)  Due to this it can be quite hairy and has faded considerable in the sun.  Problem is, I will have to make two of this one - one for each sofa.  I might change the design a little for the second though.

Blanket No2:  is for my daughter, Shona's, room.

Her big brother is moving out into his own pad and she is moving into his room.  Her girlfriend, Marie, is in the process of making her a HUGE canvas in her recognisable doodle art style so I thought I would do her a blanket to match.  It is quite vibrant and cheerful.

I am struggling with the colour arrangement on this one though..... should I have swapped the blues over perhaps?  Then swapped the purples, blending into the pinks..... Oh I dunno!

As each line takes 20 minutes to crochet and I would have to unpick 28 rows - that is 560 minutes, or 9.33 hours.  Hmmmmmm, think I might leave it be.

Pet photo competition

Or not?

I was a little excited to spot a "Pet Photo Competition" in my local paper. But on closer inspection it did turn out to be just that - a Pet PHOTO Competition.  In other words, you take your pet along to one of the photographers on their list, pay a small admin fee, get them photographed, and the picture is entered into the competition.

Booo!  I wanted to enter my own photograph.  This one....

Dotty Dog is an excellent model (especially when she has spent the previous two hours padding up a Lake District Fell and is totally bushed) and last year I got some cracking photos of her - or, at least, I like them.

I use a Nikon Bridge camera Coolpix 8800, liberated from Daddy L's attic.

Daddy L is a photographer, before his retirement he had a shop that sold art-prints and photo frames, also offering a bespoke framing service - he had a workshop in the garage and in the olden days, a dark room in the garden!  You can check out his photos on his Facebook page - Lawrence Graham Photography.

In my childhood I hated being dragged around the countryside every weekend to take photos (at one point all he wanted to do was find and photograph red barns!!)  Now though, I can appreciate the attraction  :)

This was the very first photograph I took with this camera.  It is from my own strawberry bush, but it looks like someone (or something) got there first.

This next photo is one of my all time favourites, it was taken at one of the highest points on Hadrians Wall looking South.

I also love this one, I had to snap this quick to catch it all.  Pity about the shadowing spoiling the effect.  What I wanted to capture was the essence of Essaouira, Morocco   The modern motorbike with one of the many stray cats that hover around the souks in Morocco, but just behind stands the little boy, so deep in thought while he collects water from the well in an old tatty bucket.

If you like, you can see some of more my attempts on my Facebook page - oddly named Photography By Sooz.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Braided rug class

At the Rag Rug class I attend (every other Tuesday at Upperby Institute, Carlisle) we had the pleasure of Gill Curwen, rug making extraordinaire, visiting.

She was showing us how to make Braided Rugs, or Plaited Rugs if you wish to sound less American.

This is her lovely sample...

We were using pieces of recycled fleece and blanket.  Gill taught us how to start off with a T-Bar, then plait (or braid) adding in 'corners' to make the rug turn while still laying flat.

I have to say, this was not my forte.  I blame my Mother for never letting my grow my hair long - I never learnt how to plait.

I can plait, or rather, I know the process of plaiting, but my tension is rubbish and I have loose bits.  I guess you could just say I am a baggy plaiter!

Twice I pulled my rubbish loose plait out, then I threw my toys out of the pram and sulked.  Maybe I will have another go sometime, or I might just leave it to my Mum, she seemed to do ok  :)

(sorry about the rubbishy photos, forgot to turn macro off!!)