Friday, September 28, 2012

Silk rose workshop

today I did  a silk rose workshop at Hobbycraft as part of their contribution to the Macmillan Cancer Support "Biggest Coffee Morning in the World"


I met lots of lovely ladies and thanks to the staff who looked after me well with an endless supply of tea!  I do need my tea to function!

this is part of my table with a selection of crafted bits & pieces (some are "work in progress")


I transferred  this  lovely angel  from  The Graphics Fairy site on to linen and added  twisted silk ribbon roses  and teeny flowers beads



these  ladies from Harthill in Lanarkshire made an excellent job of making  roses, especially as they hadn't done it before




sorry I don't know your names but thank you for participating - your roses are beautiful and I hope you enjoy making more of them at your Thursday night craft group

I hope that lots of money was raised today from lots of events for such  a good cause

Saturday, September 22, 2012

sow's ear to silk purse?

I've been doing a bit of upcycling this week

I painted some leaves on an old cotton shirt with DecoArt So Soft Fabric Paint and added some hand dyed silk roses I made. This might be nice to wear when doing demos











I also gave new life to a  drinks canister

I used a jar image from The Graphics Fairy site, and printed it on to linen. Next I painted a few flowers with DecoArt  Americana paint and then added some gingham binding, lace edging and mother of pearl buttons




these boxes are a great size to store knitting needles, buttons etc



crafting on the cheap! I always feel that, if you are creative, you don't have to spend a fortune on supplies.......

thanks for looking and, just a quick reminder, if you would like to be entered in my first giveaway all you have to do is follow my blog or add your email

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wrap it up

isn't this paper beautiful? It was sold as gift wrap but is, I suspect, an expensive wallpaper with lovely shiny gold flowers on a linen coloured background. I cut around the edge of the flowers, decoupage style, and used the paper for a layered effect with cream paper and gold ribbon.


After I retired from  The Scottish Office taught crafts at  Newbattle Abbey College, near Edinburgh -  a stunning building with a lot of history (it was founded in 1140 by Cistercian monks). Unfortunately most of it was destroyed but some original parts still remain




My workshops were held in the chinese room - what an amazing start to a new career teaching what I like doing best. These workshops led on to me teaching in numerous other venues from small church halls, the English Speaking Union,  the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and in many others location in the UK and Europe.

the courses at Newbattle were very popular and covered  painted  wall effects, decoupage (pic below) , stencilling, card making, scrapbooking, decorative painting and Christmas crafts.

It's great  fun, meeting new people and creating  wreaths,  swags, table decorations, crackers, pot pourri, Victorian pomanders and frosted fresh fruit with edible gold leaf.



 gift wrapping is also very popular - it is is, of course, something we all do for lots of special occasions and even a small present can look wonderful if beautifully wrapped. I sell on eBay and a large percentage of buyers add "beautifully wrapped" on my feeedback - we all know what it's like to bid on something that looks nice and it arrives look as if it's in a fish & chip wrapper!


for this little gift I printed a lovely silhouette, from the Graphics Fairy, on plain white copy paper  and I finished it off with a narrow satin ribbon and glued on a faux pearl. So simple and yet effective - it would be adapted for a a gift for a man - maybe on brown paper tied with twine?



I like to think "outside the box"........ and, for this wrap I used a silk scarf and vintage brooch, the only other thing you need is a pony tail elastic.



lay the scarf on a flat surface and place the box on top, in the centre.
pull all of the scarf evenly  to the top and secure by winding the elastic around a few times

pull the excess over to the back

and roll up and press the excess fabric as flat as possible


turn over and add a brooch, then watch the delight on your friend's face when she receives 3 presents - 4 actually as she will also get a pony tail elastic!

alternatively you could form the corners into a loose flower shape after you have put on the elastic

this is a great way to use vintage brooches and clip on earrings

and.....more wraps

a wedding gift with painted leaves, lace and silk roses

brighten up someone's day with a gift embellished with a tatted bookmark


that's us for today - all wrapped up





Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oh la la shoe clips




especially pumps - I have about 10 pairs in lots of colours, but very often they are not quite right with different outfits.

I searched online for shoe clips and found some gorgeous ones, but at a price! So what do us crafters do? We make them - we have fun and save money at the same time.

These clips are so easy that anyone could make them - here's how

you need

2 x shoe clips
a hot glue gun
2 small felt circles
& embellishments - ribbon, feathers, vintage earrings, buttons, buckles

Cut pieces of ribbon - 2 x 17cms, 2 x 14cms,  2 x 8cms  and two smaller pieces to go around the bow (these lengths are dependent on the width of the ribbon).


place a pin in the middle as a guide (remove at the next step)


fold both ends and overlap slightly and glue (I always keep a bowl of cold water handy as this glue is hot!) I have just discovered you can buy heatproof finger protectors and will be ordering some very soon. Old story though -they are not generally available in the UK and, if they are they will be more expensive than in the US


fold the 4 looped pieces over towards the middle  and glue

 the loops will now look like a figures of eight



cut a "V" shape at each end of the bottom piece

Layer the 3 pieces - the unfolded piece at the bottom then the large loop and, finally, the small loop


Normally I would add a small loop around the middle (see pictures of other clips below) but I felt this would make these  velvet bows too thick so I glued the cameos directly on to the top loop

glue on the embellishment (I use a faux cameo from the jewellery counter)

glue the felt circles on the backs (I forgot to take pics - hence a different pair here! lol) 


 glue the whole pieces  to the shoe clip

and......voila...... a la Hepburn on patent heels




for these I used 2 shades of grosgrain ribbon and little twirled roses - I will be writing a tutorial on how to make the roses shortly - they have so many uses and really are easy


a la Bardot on pumps - they would look great with capri pants


you could also make these into hair grips by gluing 2 small pieces of felt or fabric on to a hair clasp





please contact me if any part of this tutorial is not clear and I will try to help

thanks again for looking at my blog - please follow me if you would like to win a pair of these and some other goodies in my giveaway


Friday, September 7, 2012

French Linen Bag

I have a penchant for tins and drawstring bags! I have so much crafty stuff in boxes and bags, yet keep buying tins and making bags. There are lots of tutorials for making these bags but this is the easiest way for me


Cut out a piece of fabric twice the length of the bag plus approximately 5cms for the top hems. If you use pinking shears the fabric will not fray


press, and sew a single hem 1cm wide  from the top to about 6 cms down


fold and press a 3cms hem at tops  & mark with a pin 

sew the narrow side hems from the top to the pin


press and sew the top hems 



Pin and sew the embellishment on to front (see below)


fold, placing right sides together
sew the side hems from the bottom to just under the top hem (sorry i forgot to take a pic)


trim the  excess fabric from bottom corners 


sew the lace trimming to the insides at the top



thread cord or ribbon through the top

Once again I printed off the graphic from The Graphics Fairy and transferred it on to the linen using Dylon Image Transfer

The sweet little roses are really easy and you don't need to have any painting experience. This is how I did them using  DecoArt So Soft Fabric Paints

Dip a stylus, cocktail stick or brush end - depending on the size you want the rose to be,  in to a puddle of red paint and then dot on image

dip the stylus in to white paint, then  swirl gently over the red until you get the desired effect. Each rose will look different but that adds to the design


paint small green leaves - they don't have to be perfect to give a nice effect

Please contact me if I have not explained this clearly and I will try and help if I can

Painting on plastic

I have never, until now, found a water based paint that can be used successfully on plastic, without using a primer).  Until now that is...

I bought some Martha Stewart Multi Purpose Satin  paint in the US last year and used it on a couple of ultra quick projects yesterday.

The first was on a black plastic clipboard


and the other was on a plastic flowerpot for the garden


a quick and easy way to add colour!

It has been quite a crafty week for me - I tatted 2 bookmarks with Lizbeth thread. If you are in the UK it is now available at Roseground  and it is widely available in the US. The pattern is by by Kersti Anear.

 One of these pretty little bookmarks will be included in my first random prize draw in a couple of weeks. 




To enter the draw please click on the "join this site" link at the top of the page or alternatively enter your email address

Another crafting day today - painting, sewing and image transfer........who says retirement is boring?