Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dancing shadow


Taking one image from the Dancing with Shadows CD I've created a selection of cards trying to make them all a wee bit different. 


 Front of card completely covered in a background bluebell paper which is inked around the edges with Tim Holtz plumice stone distress ink. the main topper is layered to give a thin blue frame. 

A plain while card with the edges distressed with stormy sky ink. The topper consists of three layers cut using nestabilities labels seventeen dies.

 Pretty in Pink ... Same bluebell image but mounted on pearlised pink on a distressed milled lavender card.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Better get tidying ...

This little corner has been very neglected of late. Studying and work have gotten in the way of a lot recently so not much happening.  In the mean time I have bought the Shapez component for the Creatopia as the latest toy for the craft room. Shapez is basically a die cutting machine so having fun cutting and embossing scraps of paper and card. There's something very definite and satisfying about that crunch as the die cuts through the card. I don't know sometimes it's the little things that amuse. 

Background is embossed, die cut flower shapes in different colours and textures layered.

Layering multiple die cut shapes.

Multiple die cut shapes using x-cut and nellies dies.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pretty Parchment

My first at home attempt at parchment craft after attending a workshop at the Ulster Folk Museum last weekend.
Parchment craft is quite a slow technique but the effects can be stunning.
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Moody Blues

Thinking about the project on colour. So starting with an inspirational holiday photo....
New Zealand

The intense blues of the sea and sky and the green of the foliage fall on the colour wheel next to each other, called analogous.

Other images which demonstrate these colours ...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Doesn't time fly

I just looked when my last post was and I'm hanging my head in shame. Not sure that I can blame it all on the snow although boy was December a surprise. On the plus side the attic got finished and I was so impressed that I have a lovely new bedroom up there. The holidays just zipped away but not without the fun of learning to build (or in my case read the instructions) ikea furniture.

Ah well, time to dust the cobwebs off the keyboard and start again. I'll be posting some updates from the December classes (before I forget) and then concentrating on the project which has been set with the theme of "Colour".  

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Ah the news is full of horror stories about the snow and ice. Here in Belfast we've had some snow bit very little compared with the east coast of England. So here it's just enough to make it look pretty but without too much agro ... although I still have a beef over the pavements not being clear at all!!!!
Anyway I took myself off to Victoria Park this morning for a walk. It felt like I had the place to myself apart from some feathered friends of course ...
Winter in Victoria Park

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Holidays Are Coming ..

Well according to a popular drink "the holidays are coming". I dislike it when the seasonal alie in the supermarket starts looking glittery in August but when Coca Cola billboards and adverts start appearing I have to admit that it is probably time to start thinking about the festive stuff. Iwanted to make my own cards this year, and preferrably not as they were being posted.  I'm not for one minute suggesting this has gone entirely to plan but I have managed to make a reasonable batch of cards to be sent from me. Maybe the snowy weather has spurred me on :-)

I fell in love with the Percy and Penelope theme from DoCrafts so most of the cards are from that set. There are some others like the Bently Bear toppers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Minty fresh

Heck it's gone cold. All the more reason to get the heating going and have a crafty weekend. Not sure it'll turn out quite like that but I have a four day weekend so there's a remote chance. 

However while I'm pondering and planning the weekend here's another catch up.  These lovely minty beads are painted glass pearl beads that I purchased at the recent craft show at the Kings Hall.


The necklace has been made using three strands of tigertail. All strands are threaded through the larger beads then threaded individually though small beads in between.


The bracelet is using a new technique where the beads are wired and linked together. I will be covering this technique in more detail in a new post. 


There are also some earrings using headpins and fish hook earring findings.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

See those seeds?

Oh dear this is the first technique that I haven't gotten along with. Perhaps my aversion comes from picking up the tutors example and losing a whole string of seed beads. Embarrassed or what!!! 

The earrings use tigertail, crimp beads, beads and earring findings. 

Slip both ends of the tigertail through a crimp bead. move the bead towards the loop and crimp leaving a small loop for attaching to the finding. Thread on beads to each side of the tigertail allowing for the beads to stagger near the loop so that they dangle freely. Finish the end of each string with a crimp bead into which the end of the tigertail is threaded back to make a small, tidy loop. Staggering the length of the two ends is the most effective look. Ensure that both earrings in the pair are made up the same.

The necklace uses tigertail, crimp beads, seed beads, focal bead and findings.

The tassle is made using the earring technique to make three items. Unlike the earrings these do not need to be identical and staggered lengths look effective. 
Take one longer strand of tigertail and thread through the top loop of the tassles. Thread both ends through a crimp bead so that the tassle sits in the middle on the long strand. Thread the same two threads through the focal bead and crimp together again. String seed beads onto each of these strands to the desired length and terminate with findings.

Using Felt bead, seed beads,class hurricane beads, muyuki glass seed bead cubes.


Czech glass hurricane beads 9x7mm 'Mitsuba' and Miyuki glass seed bead mix 4mm cubes EARTHTONE from Beadaddicts on ebay


Tigger time?

More tigertail makes this time with three separate strands of tigertail wire which are crimped only at the ends.  Each strand is a different length so that when they are crimped together it gives the appearance of wearing three necklaces. I've used different, yet complimentary combinations on each strand within a necklace.

The class make ... first attempt
 The first attempt used a variety of beads including some of the felt beads I made earlier.

I love the classic look of black and silver.

Soothing lilac
Your eyes do not deceive you the tigertail is coloured :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't like the dark

I have to admit I'm struggling with the long nights and ever so short days we're having at the moment. It's proving hard to keep motivated to do much and the blog is one of the victims of the hibernation mentality. That said I do have some makes to photograph and write up so I think that will be one for this weekends list.  
Decorating the attic has turned into a painful process to some extent due to the limited daylight hours as checking on the coverage when painting white emulsion is a real hindrance. It's getting there just much more slowly than I would have liked. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fabulous Friday

Ok so it's not Friday as I'm writing this but tomorrow I'm off to the Creative Crafts show in the Kings Hall, Belfast. Been looking forward to this for ages. Credit card at the ready :-)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Not much crafting

Not much crafting being done at the moment but I'm making great progress on redecorating the attic. Wallpaper stripped, paintwork cleaned and today I removed the old carpet. Will be continuing with painting and papering this weekend and will hopefully be read for a new carpet by the end of next week.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Victoria Park

Some pictures from an autumn walk in my local park. 

"Victoria Park, situated in east Belfast, opened in 1906.

One of the park’s biggest attractions is its lake, which was originally used for boating. Today, it is home to a range of water birds such as swans, geese, ducks, herons and migrant waders. Some of the waders have also been recorded in the Baltic Sea and Scandinavia.

All grown up and waiting to transform

Due to its rich variety of wildlife, the open water in Victoria Park is part of the Belfast Lough ASSI (Area of Special Scientific Interest) project.

There are also many pleasant walks around the park, with recent tree planting providing shelter for many small birds.

A poetry trail, which features ten nature-themed poems written by local primary school pupils and etched onto metal plaques, also provides a pleasant route around the park.

Look out as well for the special inscriptions on the park benches. Created by artist Eric McKillen as part of our Art in the Park programme, they include words and phases which capture the essence of the park, such as `an island of nature surrounded by busy lives` and `silken swoop of elegant swans`.
One of the Art in the Park benches

The park also contains Victoria Park Playing Fields."
Not quite in the park but a path towards it

Friday, October 29, 2010

Verdant variation

I'm finding that when buying beads I'm drawn to blues, reds and somewhere in between. So with some of my latest buys I've intentionally looked at another colour scheme, greens and yellows. Here's my first venture with these new beads. 

It's raining, it's pouring

Good grief the rain is just not letting up today. So I've ventured up the attic stairs to try and sort through whatever is still up there. The plan has always been to get it decorated so that I can have a spare bedroom. Of course there were two bedrooms on the first floor but one is now a study/craft room and as we all know that is a necessity.
I've got to say though that the attic room is a lot bigger and I can imagine it as a craft room :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gone eShopping

With few options for buying beads locally I'm turning into an ebay addict where the jewellery making is concerned. Beads and findings galore are out there to be discovered. So how do you decide who to buy from? What are the deciding factors? What to look out for.

Well you have to remember that almost anyone can sell on ebay. I like to get a fair deal and if possible at the same time support small and/or local businesses. Remembering that he price of the item is far from the whole story when postage is added and you risk getting stung by customs and excise if the items are from further afield.

If I find a seller I'm happy with which includes good communication, the items being as advertised as well as a good product, at a good price then I am much more likely to go and see what they have when looking again.

Some of my top sellers whom I thoroughly recommend are ...

Beadaddicts , GartreeCrafts , K2-Accessories and Pandas Patch

Monday, October 25, 2010

Different flavours of christmas cards

At least three different flavours of christmas cards in the making ...

Did you know penguins are taking over the world?

A Victorian Christmas?

Red and Gold

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Laptop decoupage

While I've been feeling a bit under the weather the last couple of days I've been in front of the fire and tv with decoupage for christmas cards. It's been a relaxing task which has suited my mood.

When I've been at the computer I've been looking at other crafty blogs and am enjoying getting ideas and inspiration from others :-)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Triple tigertails

Another technique and effect using tigertail wire can be achieved using multiple threads.

Materials and Tools: Tigertail wire, crimps, beads

This recipe uses a repeated pattern using seed beads, a slightly larger bead for each thread and then a larger bead for all the threads.

1. Crimp all three threads together, including the fastener as appropriate.
2. On each of the threads add 3-5 seed beads, one larger bead, 3-5 seed beads. 
3. Add a larger bead with all three threads going through the same bead.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 to required length.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chasing the tigertail

The tasks in this project are basically to group and string beads and practice crimping onto the tigertail.

Materials and Tools: Tigertail/Beadalon wire, crimps, beads, fastener findings

Tigertail and beadalon are the commonly used brand names for a fine nylon coated steel wire used in jewellery making. The inner is make of steel threads and these make the wire springy when released from the reel, quite firm for threading through beads and means that the wire will kink or fold if pressure applied.

Each group of beads is symetrical with the centre bead being larger, pairs of beads either side and a crimp on each side of the group. I want the crimps to hold the group in place so the outer beads need to have a centre smaller than the crimped bead.

Cut a piece of tigertail long enough for the desired project. String the centre group of beads onto the wire and allow to fall to the centre. The crimp is then closed or crimped using flat nose pliers or a crimp tool.

Flat nose pliers: Place the crimp between the jaws of the pliers and squeeze. The crimp will be flattened onto the wire. If you need to squeeze further make sure it is in the same direction or you will open the original crimp.

Crimp tool: The crimp tool has two notches, the first notch has a small dimple on one of the jaws, when the crimp is squeezed together this dimple will make a crease or fold in the crimp. The second notch can then be used to curl the ends of the squeezed crimp towards each other.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumn Inspiration

Making the most of the autumnal crisp, clear days to go for a walk. Capturing some autumn themed inspiration on the Comber Greenway.