Wednesday, 24 June 2020

WOYWW #577: Miniature library

Five weeks since I've last shown my virtual face at our favourite blog fest WOYWW. I'm super busy still, multi-tasking between my job, homeschooling, housework and gardening - honestly, I don't know where the hours go! I did have a few hours free last weekend and worked on a little project that was completely unplanned. Just one of those instances when you stumble upon something that you just have to try! It was miniature books this time - and of course, I'd known about these for a while, but I had never felt compelled to make my own until now.  This was the state of my desk during the proceedings, still messy from previous projects weeks ago. The water actually evaporated from my paint pots!

You can see one of the miniature books being glued, the others are already installed in the mini book case that I've had for years and never new what to do with. Plenty of room for some more! There's also another book on my desk that was cut with the Eileen Hull Tiny Book die - though it looks positively giant next to my miniature ones! Let me show you my miniature library - so far I have made seven books. Here's a download of the covers I used courtesy of Thicketworks. I just printed the covers, reinforced them with cardboard, tea dyed some paper strips for the inside pages and accentuated the covers with some gold ink and gilding wax. 

Here's a closer look at my not-so-tiny book as well. This was cut from grey board and covered with an old metallic gelli print and embellished with gilding wax. The 'Map of the World" strip is an off-cut from a Dufex print that I framed as a present for hubs for Father's Day from our son. We printed off a card from the internet to go with it - as a quick fix. 

I also have a new addition to my plant stash. I have since managed to nearly kill it with TLC (too much or the wrong kind of plant feed?) but it's recovering nicely in its new position in the flower bed outside. I learn as I go along! 

Happy WOYWW - stay cool on this hottest day of the year so far - although it's said to get even hotter tomorrow. Luckily it won't last long - a couple of days of this is all I can bear. It's quite pleasant in the house still - glad I don't have to go anywhere. xx

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

WOYWW #572: Moulded shapes from toilet paper

Sheesh, has it really been 4 weeks since I last blogged? I've been incredibly busy with work and homeschooling but managed to find a little time to create something last week. I'll show you later, but first here's my my desk as it was last weekend, getting a bit messy!

I've been experimenting with moulded shapes made from toilet paper. Now that the toilet paper craze is over, I have enough supplies to waste it on this non-essential activity. Basically, you have to soak the toilet paper, blend it and then press it into a silicone mould and squeeze out the water. Once dry, it's rigid, very light and easy to paint. This was my prototype: 

I simply stuck it on one of the inky backgrounds I showed you last time. I made two others while I was at it. The face was also moulded from toilet paper - and yes, I realise it's a bit freaky! The skeleton leaf for the third piece was just lying on my desk and I thought why not use it?

Gardening news: I was so looking forward to my rhododendron blooming as it had two dozen buds from last year. I didn't realise that only one of them was a flower bud and the rest of them were all leaf buds!  You can see them here:

Then just a few days after we planted it out, a hard frost came and all these new leaf shoots perished. I was so sad! I just hope it will still bring new shoots this year. I could have easily kept the plant in the pot for a few more days and put it in the conservatory if I had known that the frost was going to be so harsh. Well, you learn from your mistakes.

I'm also looking after these little trees shown below. I grew all of them from seedlings and it's so rewarding to watch them grow. That big one on the right was just a tiny little thing a few weeks ago. I think it's a Mountain Ash tree. There's also a chestnut tree that grew out of a sprouted chestnut my husband found on the ground, a couple of lemon trees that I started growing last autumn, a Crimson King that's probably from a seed that got blown over from a neighbour's garden two doors down and a few other unidentified species - we'll find out what they grow into - it will be a surprise! 

We even made it to the garden centre last weekend when they first opened after the lockdown and picked up these cute little flowers. They're some sort carnations, so pretty: 

Just one photo of Oreo left to share - doesn't he look handsome? It took me a while to get him to sit this way and look in the camera. That's a Japanese Maple in the background that also got planted out a few weeks ago - we bought it last year, but I kept it in a pot over winter. 

Hope everyone's doing well and enjoying the summer weather - hard to believe I wore my woolly jumper just last week!  I may not be able to visit everyone today, but I'll definitely do so later in the week. Take care and stay safe - or shall I say Stay Alert - those of you in the UK will understand the reference LOL! xx

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

WOYWW #568: Two in One

Last week, I clean forgot it was Wednesday and missed linking up, even though I had all the photos prepped and ready to go. I blame Easter Monday, which masqueraded as a Sunday and totally confused me. As a result, I have now two-weeks' worth of projects to show, but I'll try to be quick, promise. Here's my desk shot taken on Easter Monday:

I was playing with some inky backgrounds, cutting them into smaller pieces for collage or whatever else they can be used for. I'd also just finished decorating my little die-cut drawers you saw on my desk 'au naturele' last week. I decided to just paint them a rusty orange over crackle paste, and later added some washi tape for good measure as well. It ended up a little warped so next time I'll use a better board. Here's a closer look:

This week I continued experimenting more with painty/inky backgrounds inspired by this free tutorial by Jeanne Oliver, titled mini abstracts. I used a cheap file folder as my substrate. 

I took it a step further and added some washi tape, old postage stamps and found words to some of the little pieces:

So that's it art-wise. It's good to be creating again. How is your lock-down going? Looks like it won't end any time soon. I still find myself quite busy between my job and homeschooling. My son's learning about the Cold War, which I find fascinating as I lived through the latter part of it on the other side of the Iron Curtain. It's interesting for me because I never knew about the Berlin Blockade, for example - somehow it was glossed over - or rather omitted completely - in my old history books! My secondary school education was still very much dominated by the Soviet doctrine. Anyway, I'm rambling...

Bear with me, I just have a couple of more photos and a video left to share...

The pharmaceutical committee I work for sent all the team members a bouquet of flowers to thank us for our hard work. It's nice to be appreciated and a far cry from the treatment I got in some of my previous jobs working in retail, if you remember - now that I think of it, I guess I just didn't belong there and I'm grateful that I've finally found my place. 

The old apple tree down the garden is also in full blossom - I always look forward to the time when these little pink/white petals make an appearance - a sign of renewal and hope - especially in the current circumstances. 

Sometime during Easter week when the weather was so warm, we had a little bonfire down the bottom of the garden at night. We were scaring each other with ghost stories in the dark LOL. I hope my son will grow up to remember this as one of the precious family moments of the lock-down of 2020. In all this madness, we have to find the positives and make the most of this unprecedented situation. 

Hope everyone's keeping safe. Take care folks and see you soon! xx

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

WOYWW #566: I'm back - kind of...

I thought it was time for me to show my face again on WOYWW and let you know that I and my family are okay in lock-down. We haven't left the house in more than two weeks. Luckily, I can work from home - and I'm quite busy too as I'm part of a team that works with pharmacies. On top of that I have homeschooling responsibilities for my son who's in year 10, studying for his GCSEs next year - currently on his Easter break. So it's hardly a holiday, but we're actually having a nice time together as a family. We can spend time outside in our garden enjoying the spring sunshine, so we don't even miss going out much. We could go on like this indefinitely, but of course I know that things will have to get back to some sort of normal soon as not everyone is having an easy time of this.

I even ventured into my craft room at the weekend inspired by Roben-Marie Smith - and not for the first time rescuing me from a creative rut! She's taking part in the Virtual Art Summit which runs until the end of the month. It's free to join with a voluntary donation. Roben-Marie's lesson inspired me to get inky again with the following results:

The book on my desk is destined to become a "Transitions Journal"which is another one of Roben-Marie's free courses. That's a longer term project for me. You can also see those little cardboard drawers on my desk - I used the £5 off voucher from Craft Stash for Mother's Day to treat myself to the Eileen Hull Scoreboards die that cuts them. Potentially, I could build an Advent Calendar at the end of the year, so could be quite useful.

Hope that was sweet and short and to the point. I have just two more photos to share: yet another stunning sunset experienced on Saturday and a photo of Oreo (aka pocket panther) sunning himself in the conservatory, which really comes into its own at this time of year.

Hope everyone's keeping safe! Will be around visiting soon! xx

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

WOYWW #562: Not quite back yet

Another short check-in from me just to let you know I'm still around. I seem to have fallen off the proverbial bandwagon and haven't been very busy in my craft room. As you can see, my desk has been taken over by Oreo cat - in fact, the whole room has been taken over by him as I often find him in there either staring out the window or sleeping on my chair. He thinks it's his domain now.

Instead of spending my spare time creating, I've reading a lot and also got hooked on Lost, the TV series. It's quite addictive - I've still got two seasons to whiz through. I'll be back at one point, no doubt, but I'm not sure when.

I have found an old project I can share though - you've probably seen it sitting on my shelves but I've never shown close-ups of it before. It's a little tag book with pockets that I created a while ago from a single 12X12" sheet of paper. I admit, I can't quite remember how I made it though!

So that's just for a quick fix. A couple of photos left to share. I caught this little guy sitting on the fence the other day. I keep forgetting to get some peanuts for him. Or could be her, who knows? 

My dad sent me this photo for my birthday last week. I must have been around 6 when it was taken. That orange monkey was my favourite toy for many, many years growing up. 

So that's it, just to let you know that I haven't fallen off the edge of the Earth. Hope everyone else is OK - will catch up soon! xx

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

WOYWW #556: My (relatively) tidy craft room

I thought I'd better check in today after 4 weeks of absence so you wouldn't think that I've completely disappeared. I'm taking an unplanned breather from crafting and blogging. No particular reason - we all need a break from time to time even from things that we enjoy - and I know from experience that I always come back with a vengeance with fresh creative ideas.

Although I haven't got anything creative to show you today, I can boast about my tidy craft room. It took me a couple of weeks to declutter. Not because it was such a big job,  but because I kept putting it off.  There comes a point when you feel so suffocated by all that stuff around you that it starts weighing you down. I ruthlessly got rid of a lot of scraps (cardboard, die-cuts, magazine cut-outs, bits of rubbish, etc|) that I was holding onto for future projects. I will admit though, that on second thought I retrieved some of them from the recycling box after throwing them out LOL!

Now that my room is (relatively) tidy, I feel refreshed and so much lighter! Here are some photos of my entire craft room shown from all angles. I go in there every day to admire it but I still feel reluctant to mess it up again, though I came close to it a couple of times in the past two weeks. I even got my paints out at one point to do some pouring but never got around to it. I'll get there, don't worry!  So for now, just enjoy the view - it won't look like this for long:

Happy WOYWW! I'll visit soon to find out what everyone's been up to in the past few weeks! xx

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

WOYWW #552: Finished Advent Journal 2019

Well, Happy New Year! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's Eve. I was up bright and early today - that is if you can call 8:30 bright and early. I spent the last two weeks playing catch up with Kasia's advent calendar prompts and finished my journal a week late but still before we entered the new decade with just a few hours to spare. Here's the state of my desk - this photo was taken yesterday afternoon but it looks exactly the same this morning. Yes, I know it's messy, even for me! My next project will be a major clean up operation.

Below are the pages I completed since my last post. Just scroll through them, or watch the slide show at the end. I had a bit of a journal-catastrophe on my hands when I decided to expand the spine by cutting off the back cover without thinking it through properly. Now what? Bookbinding tape to the rescue, I managed to bodge it together in the end. 

Wishing everyone all the best for 2020! xx