Lovely Blog Award

What a lovely gesture! I’ve been nominated for the lovely blog award by fellow crafter and blogger Irene from

I am thrilled to accept this award and so will reveal 7 things about myself (that was the deal!) and nominate up to five people that I consider also worthy of the award.
So here goes …
1 – I started blogging just over a year ago to demonstrate, try out, create, make up and revisit as many different crafts as I could. Along the way, I’ve connected with lovely people, fellow crafters and delighted in sharing craft swaps.

2 – When I was seven I took part in a national art competition and won a packet of plasticine (a bit like play doh); a watercolour set and met the Queen for my picture of her on horseback in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace.

3 – I’ve only ever driven on the motorway once and will avoid it at all costs. My kids tease me about ‘big roads’! It was a case of: tried it once and didn’t like it

4 – I love exploring new places and have a strong desire to travel – my dad lived and worked in several different countries and I grew up surrounded by lodgers from around the world – yet my DH gets severely travel sick so it took me nineteen years to get him on an aeroplane

5 – I’m allergic to bee and wasp stings and discovered this when sipping white wine and got stung on the forehead

6 – I’d always wanted to own a cuckoo clock as my dad kept one in a cupboard. I later found out that he kept it unwound because it was so noisy. I dislike ticking clocks and can’t sleep if there is anything other than a digital clock in the room or one that I can silence.

7 – I once thought that a cream tea was tea with cream in it.

and now, a couple of nominations for the lovely blog award are


There are many more I could also mention, if I had more time to comment

Thanks again Irene for the nomination 🙂


A Drawing a Day …

Today my son returned to university. It’s a day mixed with pride and also has a strong emotional tug. I remember well the day I left home – I’d prepared what was known as ‘a bottom drawer’ up in the attic: a collection of pots, plates, cups, cutlery and an assortment of other household items saved for the very moment of moving out. It was different to the moment my son first set off back in September. I got married instead. University came much later and after the arrival of three children. It’s never easy saying goodbye but it is easier keeping in touch now with the use of Skype, instant messagings, texting and emails. We’re wired like birds sitting on the line connecting two telegraph poles. Despite the miles separating us, there is always a virtual hug close at hand, a smiley emoticon or a ringtone alert on the phone. Hopefully, four months won’t seem so long as it does right now… the house is very quiet.



Well, I admire those people who work on architectural drawings and on CAD software. I’ve tried it … using the computer programs to form lines for 3D shapes. My son’s at uni using software and has been creating some fun hats in 3D in preparation for making models.
I, instead, picked up a biro and did a sketch of a building while watching Sherlock. Having seen plans drawn out on CAD by the structural engineers, which are printed out on large sheets of A2 paper and admired the beauty of balastrades and cornices, turrets and pillars I have to remind myself that these were drawn using computer software rather than relying on the eye and hand coordination. Despite my wonky lines, I’m pleased with how this turned out because I don’t plan to study autocad anytime soon!


Origami Envelopes

Hi everyone!
Apart from a bit of baking this morning (I made rock cakes), I made a couple of origami envelopes from an A4 sheet of paper. Most origami I’ve done had involved using squares, so this is a little different.

I’m currently putting together a step by step tutorial on how to do this, so watch this space if you want to find out how it’s done and have a go yourself!

The envelope is just big enough to hold a playing card or two and is perfect for those of you who’d like to send out ATCs – artist trading cards.

I’ve used some hand printing paper for this. Hope you like it 🙂

This is the front

This is the back.

Here are my tasty cherry rock cakes I baked this evening 🙂


Getting organised!

This evening, the desk in my son’s freshly painted room was set up and while he’s at university, I’m making good use of it! I set the sewing machine up and finally got around to creating some origami bags out of the fabrics I bought when we visited my son up north. Fabric is sold by the kilo. To me, this was unusual as I am more familiar with fat quarters and fabric by the metre 🙂

There was enough to split the stash and give my mum some – not sure what she will create out of her lot, but I hope to find out when I catch up with her in the week. She knows I’m making items to sell at a craft stall on 15th November, so perhaps she will be able to contribute to the fundraiser in some way…

Nikon decided to watch me sew and now and again would run off with a strip of material!

My fabric envelope turns onto a cute origami bag (there is an earlier blog post of how I made them, if you’d like to find out and have a go yourselves).

This one of my favourite fabrics – retro telephones. I wish I’d bought more of it now…

This is a bag I made a few months ago.
What I like about these origami bags is that when you turn them around the right way you can opt to have several layered pockets on one side or keep it even with pockets both sides. The fabric I bought in Bolton is perfect for bags too as it’s quite stiff and therefore keeps its shape.

Sticky Dot Dog – an attempt at pixel art!

Pixel art is all around us so I thought I’d try sticking sticky dots to create some pixel art! There are a few areas that don’t look quite dog-like, but for a first attempt at least I can see it’s a dog! I thought a packet of 850 dots would be enough, but I ran out of one blue and had to substitute it for dark blue on the outline. Maybe squared or gridded paper would help me position the dots more accurately? What does everyone else think?


Chocolate coins

Christmas has arrived in the shops already and I’m on the look out for textures that might look great on a print. I came across a bag of chocolate coins and wondered whether the embossed detail would be strong enough to be picked up on a gelliprint.
There were issues with the coin wrappings sticking to the brayer as I applied the paint and had more paint on my fingers by the end of the session just by constantly peeling them away from the roller! However, with a bit of determination in the thirty minutes before it got dark, I managed a couple of prints. I think the solution will be glueing the foil wrappings to some card so they lie flat and I can apply the paint to that…we’ll see how that turns out in comparison to this:

The autumn journal word prompt today was ‘might’ – you can see the prompts added daily on Myfanwy’s blog
I stretched the word to mighty …a mighty stash of coins. I was reminiscing about the half pennies I used to collect at my Gran’s, using a spherical Smarties tube to hold them. Once the tube was full, we took the collection to the bank and changed the money. I think it was my Gran’s way of teaching my brother and I to save. Meanwhile, my Grandad emptied his pockets of copper coins into a dresser drawer. When we came to visit, we had the fun task of counting the coins and getting to keep whatever amount was in there. It was always a surprise as each visit amounted to a different sum.
I also remember way back going on holiday with my white piggie bank of coins. I obviously was very young as hadn’t learned the value of each coin, so regardless on whether it was a ten pence piece, a two pence piece or even a fifty pence…every coin was worth the same. For instance, I could have had ten coins:
Two x fifty pence (£1) to me: 2
Five x ten pence (50p) to me: 5
Three x five pence (15p) to me:3
Total amount in reality: £1.65
Total I thought it was: 10
It’s funny what I can remember doing and how daft it sounds now, looking back. 🙂

20 minute sketch

My son is a fan of the caped crusader and asked me to do a drawing for him to take to uni. He’s about to study special effects for the movie industry, making prosthetic body parts and learning about modelling with silicone, plaster and animatronics among other things.
So here is my twenty minute sketch (I don’t like working in pencil).


Cone roses and calligraphy sketch

Today, with the sun gloriously shining above us, we headed out to a park with a house steeped in history. I took photographs of the deer, but haven’t had a chance to review them yet. In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you something I found with my daughter beneath the trees.

They look like roses because the grass in the park has been mowed recently and sliced the cones up. As the air has got to them, they’ve opened slightly like little petals


I sketched flowers in the walled garden where a lot of vegetables had reached maturity: pumpkins, celeriac, runner beans, brightened every height from the soil to above our heads. I selected a small sunflower to sketch using a calligraphy pen until I could no longer stand the bees buzzing around my head. Then on return to base, I sketched some of my collected cone roses 🙂

Hopefully, I will be able to share some photographs from our visit tomorrow of the deer and sights around the park. Here are my sketches for today:


Bangles and baubles!

I took a short break from the embroidery to knit.  I have to admit that knitting is not my favourite hobby or craft, although I do admire those who knit intricate patterns.  Many a time I’ve started and abandoned a knitting project, leaving it in better hands … my mum :). In fact, I took a knitting project off these needles just to do this tonight (mainly because I’ve forgotten where I got to on the pattern).  

Yes, I’m shaking my head, a little embarrassed.  The pink and purple was going so well!


So, I cast on 40 stitches and began to knit. I haven’t got far enough for you to see the end product, but I thought if I blogged about it, I might actually finish it :). After all, I have posted a knitted cat I designed and the pattern plus I also shared a knitted rose as part of a yarn bombing experience. I can knit, but I’m finding my embroidery is giving me much more satisfaction – maybe because I haven’t embroidered since I was 18 (not counting cross stitch). Any encouragement would be much appreciated! What’s my motivation, you may ask? I’m building up stock for a charity craft fair – the last one I did was to raise funds for the Children’s Hospice. The knitting will hopefully turn into a bag for a child and have bangles as handles.