Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Oil Pastel Sketch

This is an oil pastel piece I made a while back, I was just messing around with some black card I had bought for my newspaper canvas tutorial using a photo I had taken. Because (as I've said before) I'm useless as transferring images from my phone to the computer I haven't managed to get the size of the top right picture to match the top left, but I hope you can see well enough.

 Original photo and oil pastel sketch
 Original photo and oil pastel sketch
Framed final picture

Although we live in a village outside of the town we are fortunate that there is a framing shop at the top of our cul-de-sac. I took this to them and chose a grey border (I recon you can't go far wrong with a grey border). I wanted a grand looking frame and this was the most ostentatious I could find, so a win all round.

P.S. My artist skills are up for hire (don't worry, my smartphone photo taking skills are not!)

Dreamcatcher earring

Just a quick little picture I found as I was looking through my photo's on my phone, I made these then wore these to my friends sons christening about a year ago, they're quite a cute idea aren't they, and pretty easy to make too. I can make a tutorial if anyone wants to know how?

Newspaper Canvas

I saw this original idea on pinterest and initially I was going to do similar, but I decided to use thin strips of newspaper instead as I thought that would look cooler. I didn't want any of the writing visible as I felt if pure aesthetics is what you're going for, reading about which cars are currently on sale may put you off. If however I wanted to to include the text for whatever reason (maybe a favourite book?) then that my friend is the way forwards.

Without further ado, here's what I did.

I bought a canvas from ye olde home decor shoppe (Dunelm Mill). Usually I'd be quite snobbish about these bought canvas' as I never think they're made particularly well. They often have crappy balsa frame with the fabric stretched over, whereas you need a wooden lip about 2-3ml thick standing proud of the frame to lift the fabric off the wood as this can (and will) cause the outline of the frame show through in the final piece. But as it happens These frames have the lip and are therefore worthy of my project(!) But yeah, any sized canvas you want.
I ripped lots of tiny strips of newspaper into strips about 1cm thick
Using a dilution of about 3 parts water to 1 part PVA glue (you really don't need  a strong dilution of glue as the paper is so thin) I just started sticking layer upon layer of newspaper strips, moving about 2ml down with each strip
Both sides complete and then filling in the middle, because the overall look is quite abstract the rows seem to blend in with each other quite well.
The final piece

In situ above my fireplace
As I write this I'm not sure how well the pictures are going to come out, I'm having 'technical issues', in that I'm rapidly discovering I'm not as technical as previously assumed. The pictures were taken on my (non i)phone and as it turns out do not translate onto my laptop particularly well.

But here we go, that's what I did and that's how it turned out. I don't think it's to bad, let me know what you think. Originally I was going to have a silhouette of something or other but I decided I liked it as is.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Baby gift, my crafty friend

It appears there must be something in the water around my neck of the woods, a good handful of my friends are currently expecting (a baby, that is...) As a crafter this presents a challenge: what to give as a gift?

I perused a few idea's courtesy of saint Google, here's a website with a few ideas, and another, not bad... but I wanted to build on what I've seen. ('build on' - geddit? har har har... never mind). Here's my idea:

I decided to go for some soft blocks in a handmade box. I'm using felt to make the blocks, stuffing to fill them and sewing them together with wool. The box is made from a sheet of foam. 

My materials - felt, wool and foam. I also used toy stuffing.

Here come the numbers: I made 6 blocks using 3 colours of felt (2 of each colour in each block) = 8 squares of each colour (24 squares in total). My squares are 3x3 inches. Phew!
The number of shapes are the same deal as with the squares. I chose simple shapes...

and one number for each square

I plotted and pinned out each block (I found this stage a bit bamboozling!)
then sewed each shape on and the sides together, leaving one side open for stuffing
Stuffed and sewn block
The final product, with a little instagram magic

As you can see, I decided against using the foam (I was going to make a box for the blocks) but they're made to be seen, not tidied away.

Quick tip, use a cushion for the stuffing, waaaaaay cheaper than the stuffing you buy for toys. You can even recycle old cushions for this.
Just as a final note - I also found this online - cute! I must do this.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Hello again old friend

Hello blog, long time no see, or write, or whatever...

I've been busying myself with many, many different things.

New craft projects coming soon...

Until then, please enjoy this song

look at this amazing photo (from the Chelyabinsk meteor earlier this year)

and I will see you soon!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


I haven't put anything of mine up for a while so here's the product of a recent day out; the other weekend was a beautiful day, we decided to go to Ribblehead and Ingleborough - out in the dales of North Yorkshire. I've put up my favourites from the days photo's.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Werner Herzog eats his shoe

Don't let the title discourage you, this video is so much more, it's inspirational. I highly recommend watching it.
Werner Herzog made a bet with fledgeling filmaker Errol Morris that if Morris ever got round to making his film, Gates of Heaven Herzog would eat his shoe. Needless to say, Morris made his film and Herzog stuck to his word.