Sunday, April 21, 2013

J'aime les roses

I came across this beautiful pale peach indoor rose bush at Marks & Spencer's.

I was actually buying one for my Mum but couldn't resist getting another for myself

The problem was that, even although I have some pretty jugs and vases I didn't have one I thought suitable so.........thinking cap on..............and this is what I came up with

I used  a pretty picture  with roses  from the Graphics Fairy and added the text "J'aime les Roses" and printed it on to a woven polyester fabric (similar to that used to make flags)

I then printed the butterfly and another rose, also from the Graphics Fairy site, and cut around the edge

I stuck them on a round cardboard box, with a strip of white linen,  and stood it on top of a glass plate stand

Easy peasy & effective

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fabrique Speciale - a storage basket know how sometimes you see something and think "now how can I use that". I did when I saw a new graphic from Karen  The Graphics Fairy a few days ago - I loved the text and the font and knew it would look pretty with some French linen

The obvious place for me to use it was on a basket I keep special pieces of linen and lace in - some I have painted, some have ribbon embroidery and others are plain fabric waiting to be put to good use

This was a quick and easy project as I didn't have to go through my normal process of transferring the image to fabric. I simply printed the image on to a  piece of  Production Polyester Canvas Media, using my inkjet printer.  It went through like a dream and, thank goodness, didn't jam my printer! I hate printer jams

I was going to search for a graphic for a suitable flower but, lo and behold, today my daughter came home from the US and brought me a huge stash of craft materials from Michaels. Amongst it was this lovely  flower - already cut out and printed on to keep your Mum happy!

Quick and easy and perfect for my basket

Thank you once again Karen

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sea glass jewellery

I love sea glass, especially the pieces I have collected myself. I love the all the different shades of blues, greens and whites along with unusual shapes and sizes.

It takes me a long time to get from one part of a beach to another as something always catches my eye and, invariably, I find a perfectly shaped shell, a shard of pottery,  a piece of sea glass and sometimes even a nice smooth stone. I usually forget to take a poly bag so my finds land up in the bottom of my beach bag or in a pocket - this is where they normally stay until weeks or months later when, in the midst of a Scottish winter I decide to turn my find in to something very special to wear.

Sea glass has been tossed & tumbled by the ocean until it has been broken in to small pieces and had all the rough edges rubbed off - it's transformed from a useless piece of broken glass in to a beautiful unique object with smooth edges and a translucency that makes it seem like a jewel - no wonder sea glass is also known as "Mermaid's Tears"

I soak shells and sea glass in a weak solution of bleach, soap  & water overnight and, the next day, when it is completely dry I rub a little oil on them to give a shiny translucent look as if they have just come from the sea

Sea glass can be found on beaches all over the world and on a link here you can enter the area you are in to find possible places to search.

There are beaches almost totally covered in glass. This is because, in many areas, household trash was dumped away from the towns at sites by the sea. Through time,  after all the organic material has long disappeared only the glass is left.....

this is at Fort Bragg Beach, California - oh how I would love to visit here

It's funny how little (or as in this picture large) pieces evoke happy memories. I bought this shell in St Maarten from a lovely lady who had a little shack on the beach. She was selling jewellery made from dried berries along with a few of these shells. We started chatting about crafts (of course) and I showed her how to tatt. I didn't have a tatting shuttle or needle with me, so I used my fingers and a piece of string. She was delighted to see something new and I wonder if tourists in St Maarten are now maybe buying pieces of tatted jewellery to take home. I really like this shell despite having had to empty suitcases at Miami airport and re-pack because one case was way too heavy!

There are various things you can make with shells (please see a previous post) and sea glass. I made these pendants & earrings  with  various wires, beads and freshwater pearls. The wire I prefer to use is 24 gauge artistic wire which is available in lots of lovely colours.

I adore seahorses and they look lovely against a piece of sea glass on a pendant - because this piece of glass is concave (possibly from a bottle neck?) I thought the seahorse would look pretty tucked into it rather than have it dangling seperately on a ring

Tiny little pieces make gorgeous earrings

this piece looks pearlescent

aand these? I crocheted around them with Artistic Wire

mermaid's tears, starfish & freshwater pearls

The Sea Glass Journal is a great site with lots of interesting  articles and pictures 

Happy Beachcombing

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vintage French Hats Box - Storage for Jewelery Findings

Today I  have been thinking outside of the box - literally

I had a box containing 3 small jars of toiletries - bath salts, hand cream and ????  I don't know what because I have mislaid one of the jars! I am hoping it is lurking somewhere and I can complete this project

for the outside cover I transferred a French graphic on to linen using the (Reynolds) freezer paper method and gave it an aged effect by brushing on a mix of coffee and water.

The little bauble is from a vintage bracelet and I tatted a border around the ege

I sourced the lovely hat images from The Graphics Fairy  and added the text (rings & things, pins & needles and seeds & beads) - this can take a few attempts to get both the images and text the right size

I printed the page

and dabbed it with a piece kitchen towel dipped in a mix of instant coffee and hot water

I had to iron the paper as it was a bit wrinkled, then put it through my Xyron adhesive/laminator, cut out circles and stuck them on the lids (at least 2 lids meantime! lol))

I added the cream lace which already had sticky tape on it....... 

........and for inside the lid - I  typed, copied & printed few craft related words on copy paper and stuck it inside with double sided tape

and here is my vintage box - I will use it to store headpins, rings and other small items I use for jewellery making

and, guess what? I still can't find the third jar!

Yay! I found it

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rainbow of Ribbons - how to dye polyester ribbon with fabric paints

Rainbow of Ribbons
this tutorial is to share how I dye polyester ribbon using acrylic paints

it’s great fun to dye ribbon using DecoArt So Soft Paint and the best part is that you can vary the colours to suit individual projects. The result is an ombre (shaded) effect which results in unique colours each time; this really adds depth to your work especially when doing silk ribbon embroidery. The ribbon is also perfect for using on barrettes, gift wrapping, scrapbooking, card making and jewellery making

Here are some examples with the colours I used but, of course, the permutations are endless. You can use small pieces of ribbon and experiment until you find something that suits your project

Cadmium Yellow
Cadmium Orange
Bright Coral

True Blue

Soft Peach
BabyPink Deep
   Magenta Shimmering Pearl

Polyester ribbon - I used 7mm wide
Plastic clothes pegs (optional)
3 x glass or ceramic bowls


Squeeze small amount of each colour in to individual dishes &
add water to each dish - approximately 1 part paint to 3 parts water (variable) and mix well

Wrap approximately 1 metre x  ribbon around your hand

Hold in place with the clothes peg (optional) in the centre

Dip one end set of loops in to the first colour, let it drip for a couple of minutes

 repeat with the loops at the other end

Remove the clothes peg, if you have used one

Fold over, so that all loops are together and dip the middle parts in to the third colour  (you can miss this step if you only want to have two colours) - sorry I didn't take a picture of this step

Hang up to dry (I like to choose a good sunny day and dry the dyed ribbon outside)