Sunday, 22 February 2015

An ink technique with the WOW factor ...

... is guaranteed to excite me, so I was very pleased to come across Shaving Foam Marbling when researching new projects for my crafting groups to try.  It's cheap, simple and really effective.

 Just make a layer of shaving foam on a baking tray or flat dish, drop on some ink colours (I used StampinUp re-inkers) and swirl them artistically (or randomly, it will still look great).  When you're happy with the look of them, lay a piece of paper on the top, press down gently, leave for a few seconds, then lift off.  When you wipe off the foam, you will have a lovely print underneath.  You can then take more prints until the ink goes too smudgy, when you can throw the foam away and start again.

I first tried this with ordinary white card stock, but then I had the very lucky idea of trying this with photographic paper (very cheap nowadays from the pound shop), and Oh. My. Goodness!  The colours came out fabulously vivid and the glossy finish just made them sing!  If you've done marbling but not tried it with glossy photo paper, I'd really suggest you have a go.  Here are some of the things my crafting group make last Monday, just snapped on my cheapy phone so not very crisp pictures:






Would you like to try this?  I still have a few places left at Paper Playground at my house in Redhill, next Tuesday 25th February where you can experiment with shaving foam marbling to your heart's content, and then use one of the pieces for your greetings card make-and-take. Please phone me to book a place.

Hope to see you then... xxx

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

What do you call a fish without an eye?....

...one of my hand made glass fish!

Two lovely sisters called Lisa and Helen came to play with glass on Saturday morning and I had a great time introducing them to the joys of glass bead making.  They made some beauties and after they had gone I set out to make some extras for them.  Then I decided to try one of those little glass sweeties you sometimes see in trays.  I'd just finished the first wrapper twist and it was like it called out to me "I'm a fish, not a sweetie,,,a fish!".  So I had to do that instead!   For the eyes, I just grabbed what I thought was a black rod.  Only it was dark transparent blue.  So he hasn't got proper eyes...

I just realised he hasn't got fins either.  Not so great as fish go, but I feel a little bit attached now.  So, eerrr... what should I call him?

Monday, 16 February 2015

WIP: A Rainbow quilt....

....has been gestating in my head for a few months since I saw one on a blog but then couldn't locate it again to "pin".  Anyway, I found myself in the neighbourhood of "Eclectic Maker" on Friday so I paid a visit, and got a psychedelic rainbow jelly roll to do my experiment with.  Things are very quiet chez moi at the moment due to daughters doing revision and dh inhabiting the gym, so after lunch I got down to it and by bed time not only had I caught up on all my favourite TV series, but I had a very jolly looking rainbow quilt top.  This afternoon I found some very cute polka dot fabric to do a border and the backing, et voila!



It looks a bit backwards somehow, maybe because I had to stand on a chair to get it all in the photo.

The method worked really well.  I excluded some of the strips, added 2 purples (every rainbow has purple, right?), sewed all the remaining strips into one big square, pressed, folded, then sliced into 2.5" strips.  Then all I had to do was lay the strips out and unpick one seam in each strip so I could stagger each strip by two squares. I have made a scrappy border out of a few left over multicolour strips. By the way it's called "BEST. DAY. EVER." by Moda.

I'll be starting the quilting tomorrow night at my quilting club - would you like to join me?  Only £5 including refreshments and very friendly, hope to see you there,

Helen xx

Friday, 13 February 2015

Nom nom....

...as you know dear reader, I am not a keen cook, but I am VERY keen on eating, so when I saw a recipe for a no-cook superfood healthy sweet snack, I thought that sounded pretty cool. They're called "Ultimate Energy Bites", the recipe is on Ella Woodward's lovely blog here, and my eldest and I made some last night. Yum.  All I can say is, it's a miracle there are any left. They are sort of like a chocolatey-er, firmer, smoother, slightly coconutty version of fig roll filling, are refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and packed with "superfoods" like almonds, cacao, coconut oil, linseed and chia seeds, so although they are delicious you don't need to feel guilty eating them (well, we'll let the scales be the judge of that next week, but for the moment, they are classed as "good" in my head...).

Ella says roll them into balls, but I remembered my silicone chocolate button mould and that worked great!  They apparently keep fine in the fridge (don't suppose they last long enough to be honest), but are also lovely and chewy straight from my freezer.  Here they are going into one of my stack-a-boxes... (blimey, now I'm giving the impression of someone who actually likes being in the kitchen, eeeeek, no, it's the craft room for me every time!).  I admit they look a bit dingy, but go see the photos on Ella's blog, they look much nicer!  These would look v. cute packaged up into little gift bags, if I managed not to eat them first.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Tap, tap. tap...

...says the typewriter!  Ever since I saw the "Tap, Tap, Tap" stamp set from StampinUp I have been wanting to have a go at making a 3-D item with the Typewriter image and somehow it has taken me till now to really get to grips with it. I had the idea of silver-embossing the typewriter on a black petite purse and putting a little roll of paper inside the purse that came out through a hole cut in the right place on the typewriter, but it didn't look right and I was a little disheartened.  Then I saw this super project by Cecile at Lezards de Cilou, that reminded me of my lack of persistence and that it could be done, and I had another go.  I have come up with this dinky little Valentine's project, that I lurrve, hope you love it too! Sorry about the excessive watermarking, I haven't quite worked out how to do it nicely yet...

Isn't it cute?  But wait, it gets cuter:




There's an 11inch strip of paper on which you can write lots more messages, that rolls up and is stored in the bottom of the box.  There is also just enough space for a little gift in the bottom too: maybe a RING????, or a teeny chocolate heart or even your last Rolo...

This was a fiddly project to work out, but it's not difficult to do... Would you like a template and instructions?  Leave a comment for me below and if I get enough interest I'll oblige...

I just love this versatile little stamp set.  Would you like it?  Follow this link to order it online from inkredibly creative and my absolute favourite UK demonstrator, Vicky Hayes. xxx