Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday Sunday

My shopping trip to Tunbridge Wells was in some ways not an entire sucessTwo of the three shops that I wanted to go to do not open on Sundays - quite a lot of Tunbridge Wells does not open on sundays (I am not really upset by this because deep in my heart I do not agree with sunday trading) and the third one was not quite as good as its website.  Also the shoes I chose to wear hurt my feet and rubbed a blister on one foot.  Right that is the gripes out of the way now for the joy that was Tunbridge Wells today.  I must stress that my idea of shopping probably is unusual and most of the chain stores  were open.

Firstly the weather was fantastic.  The shops that I did go to were really helpful and friendly.  It is hard to say which one was nicest:- 
There was BLOTT - a shop I had not known before where I brought some interesting pencils (that work as wax crayons and water colours as well as just being a pencil)  They say they sell stationery with a creative twist and they are not wrong.

LAKELAND LTD always give excellent service and this store did just that and more.  Then there was a branch of MR SIMMS OLDE SWEET SHOPPE as these are franchise shops it may be that some aren't as friendly as this one - I would go back and shop again so very friendly (and they liked my handbag) we were chatting for ages.

 I also found a new digital crafting magazine - THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO DIGITAL CRAFTINGHours of fun to be had.

I had forgotten just how hilly Tunbridge Wells is but I enjoyed a day that was well worth the blister and will have to go back .......on a saturday with better shoes.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Day trip to Tunbridge Wells

I am off to Tunbridge Wells tomorrow.  Hopefully a nice time pottering about around the shops and maybe a little history thrown in.

Shops I want to go to include  BEAD KEEPERS, WORLD OF SEWING, and PANTILES BOOKS AND PAPERTOLE.  There is also a lakeland Ltd so I will properly pop in there as well.  It is a long time since I have been to Tunbridge Wells and I am feeling quite touristy about going.  I have been re-reading some Georgette Heyers over the last few days so it will be almost like a trip back in time.

Sunday, 19 February 2012







Saturday, 18 February 2012

ALTERED BOOKS - how hard can it be?

Last autumn inspired by a magazine article I purchased a couple of old, very boring looking hardback books with the intention of altering them.  They didn't cost very much and meant nothing to me.  I liked the idea of secret drawers and little compartments hidden within the pages of a book.  I read and re-read the article several times, found some matchboxes of the right size and shape for the drawers and time past by.

Last weekend I decided to make a start altering the first book.  I drew in the two areas that I needed for the drawer and the compartment.  Then it was time to pick up the knife and start cutting.  I cannot describe how painful it was to deliberately damage a book - it really felt wrong.  I don't know if this is just me, did the designers in writing books about ALTERED ART or for magazines feel the same way the first time and if I decide to make another one will it be easier making the first cut.

It would have been easier if I had remembered to cover the book before starting to glue the pages together and I think I made my home made MODGE PODGE a little to runny but on the whole it is going to plan. Starting from the back - I have stuck one group of pages together at the back of the book for some journaling, then carried on glueing pages togther around the matchbox and onto the compartment. I am going to have another page further foreward to decorate. The outside of the backcover has been covered, I just need to edge the cover before glueing down the back pages of the book and I think that I will cut a hole in the front cover before covering it. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

I feel really pleased with myself ..........two birthday cards made for yesterday both using images  found on PINTEREST.  Sorry no pictures of them.  Now I feel that my vast quantity of time spent on PINTEREST can be classed as research - straws being clutched here - instead of me just idling away my life.  I must start working my way through the large number of tutorials that I have pinned at some point.  Need more hours in my days (or more money so less work and therefore more time).

On PAPERCRAFTS.TV's special offers today I noticed a Teressa Collins Stampmaker Kit.  I was uncertain what this was so put in a search and came up with this :-   Make your own stamps from anything sounds intriguing.  And as always on YOUTUBE there is another option
I have not tried either of these methods but think the idea of being to create something that is truly mine appealing.

I have spent so time today picking my way through my box of buttons and removing anything that wasn't a button, and then washing the safety eyes and noses for soft toys that have spent several years in an open box getting covered with dust.  The joy of this is that I found the two belt fasteners that I purchased in the eighties - Junk shop discoveries.  I am not sure how old they are but the yellow one looks a little ART DECO to me.

After watching the last program on British music storming America I am feeling a little bit NEW WAVE so have been listening to The Clash, Eurythmics, Punk compilations and Ian Dury throughout the afternoon.   Looking back I can see why some of the bands may not appealed to some.  I loved the music of the late seventies and early eighties because finally bands were singing about Britain. TUNNEL OF LOVE

Found my decopatch paper so I can do the last touches on the cat and glue his eyes on.  It is always nice when something is completed. I also have some really lovely red with a black lace design on it that is now screaming out to be used.  I have defiantly caught the decopatch bug. I also think I have figured out what I want to do with the book I am going to alter.  Part of me thinks it is sacrilege to damage a book so I found a very dull looking one in a junk shop and I am going to use that.  The pages I cut out can be used in card making and similar projects. Lots to do.

I also need to retake the photos of my Etsy items with different backgrounds - mainly so there is continuity in my listings and partly because I do not think some of my photos have done justice to my products.  We will see.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


2012 the year of the DIAMOND JUBILEE and the UK hosting the olympics

Yes finally here they are photos of my paper mache bag.

I am not quite sure why it took me so long to finish this bag because today I had such a nice time.  The lining worked really well, I love the ribbon detail on the back and the diamante swirls.
Now to move on the next bag - the paper mache shell is made, handles are attached and it is ready for the next stage.

Bruce doesn't think much of the weather
The long promised snow arrived last night just before we went to bed - much to the  disgust of the cat.  Three thirty he woke me up to let him out, I opened the door and snow fell in on us.  I got the dustpan to clear up the snow and while the door was open he took the plunge and went out.  I set an alarm so I didn't leave him out for too long through falling asleep,  but I needn't of worried within ten minutes I heard him come back under the garden gate and opened the door to a very snowy cat.  That was it he hasn't been out since then - he has spent a lot of the day sitting on the window sill.   

The wind caused some weird and wonderful drifting.  Like the snow on this roof,  the snow outside our door was really deep but inches away there was hardly any snow at all.

Apart from having to dig the snow off the drive and brush the snow off the car  (We learnt last year in the snow that we couldn't get on or off the drive with large amounts of snow on it - just couldn't get any traction) we spent the day nice and warm inside by the fire.  In some ways a perfect day - log fire, drop scones for lunch and crafting away to my hearts content.
I SHOULD NOT HAVE BROUGHT A PILE OF MAGAZINES at the weekend because it has meant that instead of crafting over the last few days I have been reading and checking out shops on-line.  Both of which are fun and I enjoy but I have bags to finish and I want to continue to practise with the CRAFT ROBO - to many things not enough time.
I have been mulling things over and I think I have worked out a better way to make the tops of the paper mache bags.  The first one I made a totally soft top for, It is OK and as that bag is for me it doesn't matter too much that it is not perfect.   But for those that are going on sale a higher finish is needed - I think the answer is putting a cardboard insert into the fabric top.  This will give support and a better finish.  Everything else about the bag I love.  Photo coming soon.

I have had another attempt at lattice work on the CRAFT ROBO.  This time starting with a basic rectangle, it would appear for beginners at least the trick is to start with an image as large as the page will hold and when the design is finished reduce it to the required size.  This is what I did after "losing" the square I was adding to the lattice.
1 draw a rectangle as big as you can 
2 add a small square in the top left hand corner
3 when happy with the size and position copy and paste that square - move new square into position and now   there are two.
4 continue to copy and paste until the  top line is filled with squares
5 next copy the whole line of squares and paste - now there are two lines carry on till your shape is filled.
6 weld your design together and reduce to the required size.

I spent so much time trying to get a lattice effect in the same way as I would in the real world - which disappeared as soon as I welded my shape together.  And questions & answers on the forums seemed assume an intelligence that to be honest I had/have not yet achieved. I am sorry if my instructions are overly simple but I cannot be the only one struggling.  As I have said I do not want to copy other peoples designs I want to DO