Handcrafting Happiness

Well my friends, March disappeared in a puff of smoke, snap, just like that and the first week of April has also hiked through pretty quickly.

I crocheted with my beautiful Corriedale Yarns  and formed the first Persian Tile after a couple of false starts just getting the colour relationships right

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With one down fifteen to go, I decided to streamline things and am now forming four tiles at a time

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If you read last weeks post you might remember I mentioned the colour of the pink yarn wasn’t showing properly – it looked red, here you see it actual shade – isn’t it stunning set alongside those blues!

I’ve been playing with my coloured pencils, my alcohol ink pens, distress inks and various other bits and pieces and making more cards.  Having a stash of cards to meet all possible festive occasions, or just to send little notes to friends, is never a bad thing.

I worked on some I had started earlier and felt needed a bit more work – it’s important they look as finished as possible.  These three are made using embossing folders and inks to achieve deeply textured, yet simple card fronts.  I need to make more that are suitable for giving to the male of the species.

These next two are the same idea, just bigger.  The textured background is inked and  silhouettes made from die cuts added.  A bit of bling and I have two A5 cards ready to go

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Using my Spectrum Noir colour pencils and Gamsol – which is a brand of odourless spirits – two more cards were produced.  The Gamsol acts as a blending agent with the colours and also can be used to blur the lines slightly, softening the effect, though I’m not that sure that I like it personally

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And this one, which like the last card above, was photographed in its cellophane jacket, hence the slightly blurred and muted aspect – sorry about that.

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Then I moved on to produce a couple of A6 size cards made with alcohol ink pens on Distress inked backgrounds

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Again a Distress Ink background with a die cut house.  The girl is stamped  and fussy cut and attached with foam dots slightly off-set from the background.  IMG_20180405_094442.jpg

I’m enjoying the vibrancy of the alcohol ink pens and plan on doing more cards with them.  Though really, I can’t say why I’m making all these cutesie girly cards – maybe I’m pining for my lost youth  🙂  (Where did I put him?)   All I can say is it’s a good way to bring myself back into using these different mediums and finding my feet again so to speak.   I’m hoping I’ll be feeling ready to make originals again soon.

If you have a favourite, I’d love to know.

And of course, we celebrated Siddy’s fourth birthday on the 4th day of the 4th month – most assuredly an auspicious occasion!

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Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

Crafting Again…

There’s activity in the happy making room again …  well, I shouldn’t say ‘again’ in some ways it didn’t really stop.  I made lots of cards there for a bit, but forgot to take photos of any of them except this one, which kind of reminds me of Siddy and so I kept it

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But there’s been some playing with beads going on

A few new light catchers are emerging – I’m playing with odd colour combinations to see what happens.

Also, somewhere along the line I had decided to make a concerted effort to rid myself, or at least make a serious dent in, the cupboard full of of left over and unused yarns that have been accumulated over the past two decades.  I had been on the lookout for an idea or inspiration and then happened to mention it to Nana Cathy who sent me over to Coastal Crochet and voila!  The perfect thing for me and, at just nine weeks behind,  I caught up in two weeks.  As you can see my yarn cupboard holds many different shades and hues of blue and even that green has a blue thread running through it – I have no clue how that grape colour got in there!

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It’s a slow project, the designer Eleonora is adding just 4 or so rows every week, leaving plenty of time for other creative projects to continue too.  Which is really good, because on arriving home from my Blogging Babes Reunion and collecting a bag of mail from my lovely neighbour I found it included two big letters.

One, from The Wool Company, contained a catalogue and a gift voucher and a note saying to do nothing until I received an explanatory letter….. and the other from my friend who blogs, Jan, over at The Snail of Happiness containing the explanatory letter and a ‘Persian Tiles’ crochet pattern

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Jan explained she had seen a comment I had left on a mutual friends blog who was making the Persian Jewels blanket, that if I lived in the UK I’d be definitely buying that kit to make up and she decided that not living in the UK was no reason to not be able to make my own ……

You can see why I wax eloquent about the joys of blogging right?   I am once again made speechless by the kindness, love and generosity heaped on my tiny head by fabulous people!!  I sat in silence for a long time reading and rereading Jan’s letter and looking at the note from The Wool Company, then I packed it all up and drove off to my daughter’s place and showed her and we both sat in silence and revelled in the wonder of having wonderful friends, met purely through blogging.

A week passed by while I looked and considered colour options, eventually this is what I chose – it’s 100% NZ Corriedale wool, 8 ply from The Wool Company

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Aren’t those just the best colours!  Though that red hank is not red, it’s ‘Azalea’ a bright pink.  There are seven different colours and as soon as I have finished wrangling those 200g hanks into giant balls I will begin to crochet my first square – I can’t wait to get it underway!

You know it is going to be mostly blue don’t you  🙂

Jan you are brilliant and thoughtful and kind and I am so happy to have you as a friend – thank you so much!!

And to finish, here’s a shot I took of Siddy and two of his favourite admirers having coffee a couple of weeks back – I wonder what they are talking about …..

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That’s what I’m up to, I’ll be back with more in a week or so.  What are you making right now?

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!

 

I Wonder Where Summer Went?

She was here for a couple of days earlier in the month, Lady Summer, but seems to have given way to a resurgent and surly Winter who still has something to say.

I used to call the city where I live ‘The Riviera of Antarctica’.  I had good reason for doing so, low rainfall in the extremes of the year and high sunshine hours too.    Lately though it seems we have been upgraded and now reside as the Capital of Antarctica.

There were, I was told a couple of days ago, four cruise ships coming into harbour to dispel their thousands of well-heeled patrons into our fair city to enjoy a day or two of Southern Hospitality.  (Please bear in mind I don’t read the papers or listen to the radio so all my gossipy news is picked up at the dog park, where I loiter around with a mismatch of folk while our pets chase each other round in ever decreasing circles in an attempt to keep warm.  So I may get actual facts slightly wrong.)   Anyway, they picked the wrong day to arrive.  For a ‘Weather Bomb’ also chose this time to put in an appearance.

Apparently old man Winter was really p***ed off about something and he hurled a few icicles our way along with torrential rain and winds that drove the rain horizontally against the landscape.   I spent yesterday with the heating on, tucked in a blanket watching the one hundred videos saved to my ‘watch later’ tab on You Tube and pretending I lived in the far north of Canada where I was enjoying a really pleasantly mild winter.

I have no idea what happened to the hundreds of well-heeled tourists, but I imagine they retreated back to their cruise liners and waited patiently to be taken to a more salubrious part of the world.  I did hear that one of the ships, an especially large one which sometimes has trouble making port due to time and tides and its immense size, nearly keeled over in the wind, but that might just be an unfounded rumour.

Just bear all this in mind if you ever meet somebody who says they went to New Zealand one summer, had a cold and miserable time and the hurricane level winds almost caused their gigantic ship to capsize. They were probably on that particular liner.

Any way, with all this inclement summer weather I’ve spent a deal of time playing about in the art room and trying to find my painting mojo again.

I made cards.  I cleaned up and cleared out THE STASH….  We crafters never throw anything away because it  can be used on something, somewhere, one day.  I have stuff I’ve kept for ten years or more and, as I’ve cleared out everything else in my tiny house, it’s now time to clear out some of the ‘someday stuff’ that makes up a lot of THE STASH.  I figure that if I live to be 100 and make a card every day, I still won’t have used up all the stuff lurking about in that pile of ‘someday I might be just what you are looking for’  stuff.  So, I used a lot teeny bit of that stuff on the cards I made, which slowed me down no end and made me realise why I’d never actually used it up before.   I’d spend so much time sifting through piles of stuff I’d forget what I wanted it for by the time I found it.

To be honest, I was also prevaricating.  Delaying the actual moment when I would start work on an actual canvas…….  it’s always so terrifying for me – I wonder if it is so for every other person who paints.

Any -hoo, back to the cards, here’s a selection of cards ready for next Christmas  – made using the same embossing folder and different paper remnants, some worked, some didn’t……

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

The onto the stash scraps and bits and pieces.  Small note cards to start

Hisilicon K3

Large greeting cards, all made using my hand made papers and various ‘stash’ items

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

In between card making I spent some time acting as Chief Consultant and Shopping Assistant to my daughter, the Official Photographer who is doing up her new flat and who had decided she wanted a ‘pinkish’ bedroom.

We made the headboard and used that as the jumping off point for what ever came next.  While we were busily attending to the fiddly bits, young Sidd-Arthur was also busy making sure the bed was nice and comfortable for her…… that’s his rear end you are looking at

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Furiously digging his way through duvet, sheets and pillows

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Thoroughly rumpled and immensely satisfied

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Sigh!  So funny!  Pure gorgeous furriness!

I managed some sketching.  The last two while I was keeping warm and indulging in that ‘Watch Later’ channel on You Tube I mentioned earlier

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

The birds got doodled in when I tired of sketching in wrinkles…..

And finally – I have to tell you – finally, I did some work on canvas…….. it’s not finished yet, but it’s a good start.  Oh the relief!!

Unfinished 'Believe'

Unfinished ‘Believe’

So, that’s January up to date.  How’s your January going?

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!