Random Craft Swap

How much do you love receiving gifts in the mail? Do you clutch the unopened envelope for ages and try and guess what’s inside? What about receiving something handcrafted? The person sending has taken a lot of thought into creating something special and unique. They’ve considered what the other person might like. When I started on a craft to swap I went over to Gladeridercrafts blogger’s page – check it out as there’s some gorgeous stitching on there! We did a random craft swap this week and I was so excited when my craft packet arrived.

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Isn’t it lovely? Thank you so much Gladeridercrafts πŸ™‚

Also this week, I opened the post at work to find my OH had sent me a large padded envelope with the word fragile written on it! I would never have guessed what was inside…a box of Matchmakers – I love these chocolates!

It made me giggle just like a few years ago when I had a postie calling card to collect a packet from the depot. When I arrived with my ID, the postman looked at me apologetically as he handed over the mail.
‘Should it feel like that?’ He asked.
I admit it did feel as though the contents had smashed. Also, as I hadn’t ordered or been expecting anything, I had no idea what it was. The contents shifted and chinked beneath the padded envelope. I gulped.
Finally, As I sat in the car, I opened the packet to find 200 buttons of all different colours (nothing broken or smashed) inside. Lovely!

So, what have I posted out this week? Well two lucky people received handprinted fabric goodies: an ATC

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and an expanding notebook

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That was fun πŸ˜€

Printing with sweetcorn

OK, I’ve tried printing with apples, peppers, leaves, buttons, feathers and various garage paraphernalia such as nails, washers, wire mesh and even cutlery, so why not corn on the cob?

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The great thing about printing with corn on the cob is that it acts and feels like a textured rolling pin! Rolling it over the paint in the gelliplate pushes the paint away from the plate and onto the cob, leaving a lighter coloured pattern against the darker background. I like this texture almost as much as bubblewrap impressions and it’s made me look at the grocery store in a whole new light!

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This is the impressions made without any added embellishments, stencils or further textures.

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This is the sort of effect you can achieve by adding simple spirals and different layers of colour.

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Glorious Daffodils

What’s your favourite flower? Do you go for the colour or romantic connotations of red roses.
With Valentine’s Day approaching and my 24th Wedding Anniversary, I bought some daffodils. Their buds were still tightly closed and we’ve had frosts most mornings. Yesterday, the buds began to open, so I set to work on creating my latest print.
I sketched an outline of three daffodils and cut them out in sections

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I then took out my square gelli plate and pulled off a background print of blue

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You can see the blue here; I’ve done other layers of colour and removed the flowers
Several layers later, I began embellishing the print with a white gel pen and black fine liner

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Doesn’t it make you feel like spring’s on its way?

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Pepper foam stamps

This was interesting: carve into a foam cube and hope it looks like something once ink has been applied!
I chose to do a set of peppers. One whole one; one cut in half plus some chilli peppers. On another side I also sketched out some peppers growing among leaves, but for now this seems a bit complicated to cut out with the tool I have available.

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Will share some more pictures tomorrow, but before I say goodnight, how about this for making prints

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My daughter didn’t seem all that impressed when I asked if I could borrow her shoes to do some prints of the sole!

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This imprint was spotted this morning on my driveway after a frosty start. I think it would be a bit excessive to remove a car tyre just to make a Gelli print. What do you think?

Another day; another stamp

There’s a deer park not far from where we live. I love to see them out, dipping their antlers. They also look so graceful when the snow’s falling.
I did a very quick biro sketch and then created a smaller version on a 2cm x 1cm white rubber.

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Now, eleven stamps later, I have enough to put inside a shape:

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This was a bit of fun as I was able to display all the stamps I’ve created so far :-).

Handcarved rubber stamps

Hi everyone :-).

Hear is my latest stamp. I’m preparing my collection ready for a printmaking worksop next month.

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Years ago, I owned a Mini Clubman. I loved it until one day someone broke into it and stole the stereo, then took it for a joyride. It’s now probably in Mini heaven. My friend bought a Mini recently and has even given it a name: Poppy :-). I hope she likes this card I made for her using the Mini stamp πŸ™‚

Hope you’re all well and not snowed in. We had our first bit of snow in the UK yesterday. I woke to find the roads wet and grey as usual, despite the severe weather warnings the previous day. I got in my car and drove four miles and suddenly the scenery was different: cars driving 2 miles per hour; rooftops blanketed with snow thick enough to disguise the roof tiles and big flakes falling. I wondered how on earth four miles would make that much difference and also whether I’d be late for work!
The town up on the hill was indeed unique to the snowfall. As soon as I’d driven out the other side and down a steep hill into the valley, the snow had completely vanished.
To some, snow is a satisfying and joyous experience. To others it signals disaster and triggers fear … Fear of injury and perhaps fear if being stranded on the way to or from work. Great if you don’t have to get anywhere.
I now have quite a collection of stamps for the group workshop and hopefully they will be inspired to carve their own πŸ™‚

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Some more stamps … How about barbed wire and Celtic knots?

Trying out carving tiny motifs into household erasers proved a little challenging this evening (but then my daughter had fun colouring in the unprinted sections afterwards!).

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These erasers were even smaller than the tree I shared in the previous blog post. The barbed wire stretches across 1.5 inches! Sorry metric fans!!!

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2015/01/img_4245.jpgThe border’s all ready to colour in πŸ™‚

Tiny trees and tiny silhouette people

Anyone else like trees? I drive past them in winter and try and imagine their branches being limbs and the trunks being the body. I love the fact that they look so magically different during each season and how beautiful they seem when cloaked in a fresh layer of snow. Autumn colours of fallen leaves surround the trunks and carpet the ground like rainbow snow from a distance and blooms from spring blossom always make a great photographic opportunity.

So this evening I had fun carving out a rubber stamp tree using an everyday eraser, then doodling silhouettes of people sitting in them, lying under them reading or painting by an easel. Can you spot them?

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I might try this handmade stamp on a sheet for wrapping paper next – it’s my mother’s birthday in a couple of weeks. I thought I’d make her a pair of gloves. I’ve also just crocheted my seventh pair of gloves since Christmas Eve! They’ve become a bit more elaborate since my first pair, using my own pattern, so I hope she will like the pair I plan to give her πŸ™‚
This is my latest pair – complete with a ruffle …

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Do you like to receive handmade gifts? What’s the best one you’ve received/or the most special? My mother-in-law (much to my DH’s embarrassment) has a handmade snowman using cotton wool balls and a cardboard tube which makes an appearance every year. Obviously it’s very dear to her. For me, it’s the early drawings of my children, such as a cat my eldest drew when she was 3 1/2 years old. She’d captured our tabby, Samson with giant claws and drew him dressed in rainbow stripes. Delightful πŸ™‚

Next stage of project

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After scoring the square shape inside each circle, you can fold the sections back and glue the base to a glorious background of colour …

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Then start decorating with fun gel pens and fine liners πŸ™‚

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Next stage of new project

After cutting out 32 circles from the Gelliprints I glued two different prints together to end up with 16 double-sides circles.

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I then drew out a 3cm square from card and scored around the edge on each circle (so there’s a square in the centre)

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Then, using a 3×2 Gelliplate, I decorated my journal page, finding textures and inspiration from a fizzy drink lid, bubble wrap and an empty chocolate box

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Watch this space for the next stage of the project … πŸ™‚