Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wedding Day

As promised in my last post a preview of the Guest Book that Lesley and I made for my daughter Rachel's Wedding. It turned out beautiful and it was all I hoped it would be. A lot of the guests commented on it as they wrote their messages. There are a few pages left so I am popping in some of the photographs that were taken during the day.

The weather the week before the wedding was atrocious, rain, wind and more rain. We eagerly watched the weather forecast and although they said fine you always wonder if they have got it right. Thankfully they did. The day dawned cold but the sun shone.

Myself and my cousin Maggie rushed about delivering the balloons and decorations to the venue, rushed back to get ready and then rushed to get Rachel and the two bridesmaids ready.

The bridesmaids are David's (Rachel's husbands) two children. The dresses were a mixture of red and russet and when they caught the sun they appeared to change colour.

I was the only one to wear a hat, the others all wore a fascinator but it really added to the outfit and I was pleased that I wore it. Bertie didn't much like the hat he backed away from it and barked, think it was the feather bobbing about. I threatened to wear it sitting in the house if he didn't behave himself!

A proud moment and this photograph made the whole day even more special.

David panicked as Rachel was late, as is the brides prerogative, he thought Rachel had changed her mind, she was standing outside with her Dad having a few tears. She eventually walked down the aisle with tears in her eyes. The youngest bridesmaid took one look at her and burst out crying, she sobbed quietly throughout the whole ceremony but we were on hand to pass the tissues, and use one or two of them myself. When asked 'why', she said it was because she was so happy.

The bouquets and the corsages were stunning.

And this is the motley crew relaxing after the stress of the day.

From right to left Steve's sister Karen and her partner Alan, Steve and myself, my cousin Maggie and her husband Mike.

To Maggie and Mike, thank you for putting up with Steve and I for the weekend.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Happy Couple

My youngest daughter is getting married in 2 weeks, 7th November and I wanted to make something special for them to keep and be reminded of their special day.

Photographs will be taken in plenty and put into albums that eventually will go into drawers and cupboards and only come out on occasions. My thought was something that they would see every day and serve as a constant reminder. So I set about making a Bride & Groom using Paverpol, the idea is once varnished they will sit in the garden and be seen every day.

The Bride

The Bride was a joy to make and only took two hours. Her dress is made from a cotton pillow slip and I mixed Mother of Pearl Paverpol colouring into the Paverpol and it has given it a lovely shimmering effect. I applied lace around the bodice and down the back of the dress. The flowers were bought and I left them grouped together, wrapping some dipped ribbon around the stems to hide the wire.

The hair is made with Paverpol cotton and once dried I dry brushed it to darken the colour.

I made a little tiara out of a few seed beads and wire and stuck it into the hair before it dried.

The Groom

Was a little harder to make. It took me a while to decide just how to go about it and finally I ended up cutting all of the garments out of t-shirt material before I could get started. It was a little like dressmaking without the need for needle and cotton.

I made the top hat with clay and tried coating it with the Paverpol but it just slid off, so I had to take it all off and paint it with black acrylic. I am still not too happy with it and may try to make one out of felt and cover it with the Paverpol.

I chopped a flower from the Brides bouquet and stuck it to his lapel. He does have a grey waistcoat under his jacket but when I laid his jacket onto it the colour seemed to seep up so I covered it with the lapel and just left the bottom of the waistcoat sticking out between the sides of his jacket.

My future son-in-law actually has a very close to the head hair cut but here he has a really good head of hair, mainly to hide the seams on the back of his head. I adopted a little artistic licence when designing them and stressed to my daughter that they were not supposed to be 'look a likes'.

Here we have the Happy Couple linking arms and posing together. Ready to take their place on the table along with the cake.

I am also making their Guest Book with a little help from Lesley, once we get it finished I will let you have a sneak preview.

I have a plea to anyone out there. If you have any old white t-shirts that are over 60% cotton and you are thinking of throwing out, could I have them please. I am running out of the old ones of mine fast.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Paverpol, Pottery & Speedball

Another couple of Paverpol models.

The first is a little Tea-Light girl. She wears a little blue dress, blue leggings and has a pink rose in her hair. She carries a Tea-Light held in a basket and sits on a round mirror. Her name is Clara.

The second is Christabel, she sits calm and poised on her plinth. I gave her a dusting of green acrylic paint and then dry brushed her very lightly with gold. It does give her a bronze look.

I was pleased with the way the dress draped both at the front, over her legs and at the back. She needs another coat of varnish and then she can take her place in the garden. (Far away from Bertie, otherwise she will be minus her wooden plinth).

I always find it a problem knowing what I want to achieve when I go to our pottery classes. Sometimes I think my ideas are too complicated and doom myself to failure before I start.

My last project was taken from an item in a ceramics book, it was far more complicated than mine turned out, as the main body of the piece was made from turned clay. As I am no good at throwing pots (only dropping them), I adapted the procedure to produce my Tea Light Castle.

Once it was made and fired I gave it a coat of watered down PVA glue, just to give a good base for the acrylic paint. It was a bit time consuming painting it as it had some fiddly bits to the roof but on the whole I was quite pleased with it and it does look quite nice sitting on the table in the garden with the light coming out of the turrets and the doorway. It did have a nice gargoyle on the top but I am afraid he dropped off in the kiln, may have to get my Fimo out and make another.

I have been watching Barbara Gray on the Create and Craft channel recently as well as our own Lesley demonstrating the Clarity Stamps and they have inspired me to have a go. So I bought a Speedball Brayer and using some encaustic card that I already had I locked myself in the kitchen away from the kleptomaniac Bertie. Apart from getting a few lines here and there that I could have done without the result was quite pleasing. The photographs are not very good, they look at though they have a bend in them. I need to take more, the one I was most proud of did not take properly, I will have another go. I am now pestering Lesley to give me a couple of lessons with the brayer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Graphicus Open Days

We had a fantastic time at the Graphicus Open Day's, 3rd & 4th July. Our theme for the day was American Independence Day which is celebrated every year on the 4th July. We all sought out our cowboy hats. Denise was a real sport, she dressed for the occasion. Apologies to Vicky who looked just as good but couldn't catch her on camera.

We had David lassoed to the kitchen sink (he doesn't mind, really and I have to say he does a splendid job every time) but when we got to the end of the day he let his hair down!

Lots of demonstrations took place throughout the two days and every one had a 'whale' of a time. I thought you may like to see some of the photographs I took of some of the finished items. There were so many great items that I have popped the links in so you can browse as you read.

We had our resident expert Annette using the Cricut Expression, Create and the Slice machine. A cool scrapbook page.

Lynn got to play with all the Tim Holtz, Heidi Swapp's Mega Masks, Distress Inks to name but a few. Some fabulous tags and art work were created. Go to Lynn's blog to see more of her awe inspiring creations.

Glenda showcased some of the new A5 stamps and coloured them using the Copic Markers. see them all here. The colours are fantastic and they really do look like prints rather than coloured with markers.

This is from the Seashell Collage A5 unmounted themeplate.

This is Seaside Ted. He really is so cute.

I played with the Melt Pot again, I can't get enough of this and you can produce some really good effects with it. This necklace is made by melting black UTEE with a little white. Take your bead on a headpin and just swirl it around. You can dip it as many times as you like depending on what size you want your finished bead. Then thread onto your chosen material and use any of your other beads to compliment your UTEE creations.

The Caterpillar earrings were made using Dew Drops, they come in such a variety of colours that you make them to match any possible colour outfit you may have.

Lesley demonstrated Clarity Stamps There are some lovely designs and as Lesley demonstrated they flew off the shelf. But never fear another order will be with us over the next few days.

This is the Sketched Lady. She looks really elegant, cool and sophisticated. A nice stamp.

I plagued Lesley for a demo using the Speedball Brayer and an elastic band. I must have a go at this myself. it looked fantastic.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Let me introduce you to Arabella.

Arabella is made from Paverpol, I had seen this demonstrated on Create & Craft a few years ago and thought hmmmm, I could fancy a go at that and then it seemed to disappear and nothing else was said about it.

When we attended the trade show at Birmingham in February we were directly opposite a company called Target International. We got one of their catalogues and there it was. So after a quick Internet search to see who sold it in the UK, I placed my order.

It is a fantastic product, you use 100% natural materials, eg T-shirts, leather, silk etc. You assemble the model around a wire frame which is covered with aluminium foil to pad it out. You then wrap thin strips of material covered in the Paverpol and mummify it. Once dried, this takes about an hour, you can dress it. I had enormous fun doing this, it was lovely and messy. After about five days drying time you can give it two coats of an outdoor varnish and place it in the garden, it is completely weather proof.

I have loads of ideas buzzing around and I have just placed another order with for more. Can't wait until it comes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Graphicus Open Day's

I had great fun at the Graphicus Open Days last weekend playing with my Melt Pot.

I made a necklace to go with the charm bracelet using a couple of the papers from the Guild pack, one had a golden tone to it, the other black & white. I added some spacer beads from my stash and hey presto! two very wearable necklaces. This technique using paper and wire and dipping it in UTEE was invented by Leandra Franich and is called the 'Leandra Bead'.

I changed the chain on the charm bracelet and made one using jump rings, a Byzantine chain with an inter linking ring to hang the charms.

Another Melt Pot item, a Pendant, made simply by pouring the left over UTEE from another project into the pendant casing. It reminds me of a fossil.

This is a clever idea to get rid of any unwanted seed beads. I put four onto a head pin and dipped them twice, added a small bead to the top and then strung them onto a leather thong with a few spacer beads. I also made a pair of earrings exactly the same to match.

This is a double Byzantine chain, linked together with jump rings. With a watch chain to match.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crate-a-Pot & Teapotty!

Two projects undertaken at my pottery class.

When it comes to creating an object I can play, play and play. I love to add detail to my objects, whether it is using polymer clay or stoneware. Hence these two. In fact I am sometimes guilty of over detail but with this crate-a-pot, I think I got the balance just right. It is basically just a block of clay spread with a rolled out sheet to represent a table cloth, a vase of flowers was added along with a plate of sandwiches, a teapot and matching cups. A feast for the workers!

Once the glaze is applied, the object comes to life.

A little bit of humour to this one. I wanted it to look like a public loo. I created the block along with the spout and handle and marked the bricks into it. A toilet roll sits on the top ready for use, a huge lump of loo roll is spilling out of the toilet onto the floor.

I have applied the glaze but it does need a firing to give it the shiny glazed look. The wall was done with firebrick red, the toilet will be ivory and the seat grey. The loo rolls will be a creamy colour. I wrote graffiti all over the walls to give it an authentic public loo feel.

I have not seen this teapotty finished as yet. It was fired and put on show in the college with all the others, so I am eager to see exactly how the colours came out. I will post a photo when eventually I get to see it.