Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Calendar Challenge 2011

Only two days to go - so here is a review of 2010. Kate and I are throwing down the gauntlet again and opening up the challenge for another year. It really isn't that difficult. Setting up the page could be as simple as cutting out enough squares for January and sticking them in an A4 sketch book. The background could be a plain colour wash, or as fancy as you like. As for filling in the days, as you can see sometimes I don't write anything - a picture or stamp will do, you could just do a doodle - or sometimes I cram in as much info as I can. I certainly don't fill it in every day and often have to go back a week (or more), but a couple of words about the weather can suffice. There is no obligation to record your life story!  I have been doing this for about 18 months and it is great to go back and look at what I wrote a year or more ago.

The calendars in the challenge are posted on the flickr page, so if you haven't looked there lately it is worth a peek, especially if you are looking for inspiration. Please e mail  me or Kate if you have any questions.

My January pages are in preparation so watch this space!
And if I don't get around to writing another post this year - Happy New Year to you!

Monday, 27 December 2010

and the winners are ...

I have made the draw for my 100+ followers give-away overseen and drawn by MrT. I shared the 'don't minds' between the fabric and paper packages and the results are as follows...

 Kathy of PaperPumpkin has won the paper package. She lives in USA, it is always exciting to be sending packages over-seas although the weather seems to be effecting flights at the moment.
 The fabric package goes to Sue of 'Heloise'.  Her 'heart' project has been inspiring, I'm looking forward to her 2011 posts.

I hope you enjoy the contents as much as I enjoyed putting them together, and it is great to be sending these off to regular commentators on my blog.

Just in case you think I have been slacking in the creative department I am working on another box similar to the Four Seasons one featured in the draw photo above. This time I am working on the theme of umbellifers. It has three panels featured on the right hand page below and these are the painted pelmet vilene pieces with the outline machine stitched on. At the moment I am hand stitching them.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Monday, 20 December 2010

Out of the box

It is that time of the year again where even I have to submit to the Christmas spirit,
Happy Christmas to You dear friends.

Out of the box #1

Don't miss my give-away here

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

One hundred plus give-away

Even though we are having a quiet Christmas we still seem to have been very busy, I expect you are all experiencing a similar rush. The short hours of day-light have the effect of making time feel short too. But I have my sewing machine back, with new innards, and I have managed to squeeze in a few creative moments. I finished hand stitching my four tree panels which I scanned before ...

 stitching them by machine and then hand into a box (As guessed by Clare)

The four-season box

The box is lined with felt and is just large enough to stand a jam jar or empty tin in to act as a liner..

I may put it in my Etsy shop later, but I want to live with it for a bit. I kept a log of how long it took to make and it is quite shocking. I spent at least two hours hand embroidering each panel plus the time before that planning, painting and machine stitching, altogether at least 18 hours - working out a price is very tricky, I hope the quality is of a high standard to warrant a fair price.

My next project involved the photographs I posted in the previous post . Lesley of Printed Material was the inspiration - thank you Lesley - when she suggested a concertina book I just had to get to it. I couldn't find any suitable quotations so I brain stormed lots of  words and selected the most appropriate.

 Finally as a reward to all of you who have stuck with me through out this post and to celebrated clocking up over 100 followers I have organised a little give-away for all of you who wish to join in.
I have put together two packages one of  paper bits and pieces and one of fabric snippets.

The paper pack contains all sorts of paper and card, plain and patterned, that could be used for scrap book or card making. Some come from packages I have got from others scrappers and collage makers. I includes some of my tags.
The fabric pack has pieces of voile, organza, tulle and lace - some new and some vintage, some snippets of silk and embroidered and printed fabrics and a felt flower of mine. I may well add a few more bits in both packages before they are sent off.

If you would like to join in please say which package you would like, or if you don't mind which I will randomly put you in one draw or the other to even up numbers. I will close the draw on Christmas eve - 24th and announce the winner after Christmas. 

Posted by Picasa

Monday, 6 December 2010

On photography

Five Squares

On Saturday lots of things were going on round the house Mr T was busy on the computer in 'my' studio and had CDs spread all over the table so I thought I would do a bit of photography. It was exceedingly dull and cold so even picking a few bits from the garden was enough to chill to the bone. For the photographers out there I got out my 50mm 1:1.8 which is a fixed lens, meaning it does not zoom in and out, but it does allow you to shoot in really low light without a flash. However, the light was so low on Saturday I should have used a tripod as I had to use such a slow shutter speed, but I couldn't be bothered. So these shots are not very sharp, they have a soft focus appearance which comes from f/2.2 and a 1/50 sec shutter speed.  

Finally, here I am in soft focus, with rather a lot of camera shake announcing that I will be organising a give away very shortly as I have now clocked up 100 followers. I have a very busy week coming up, so it might not happen for a few days. However I am well on the way to putting together a couple of packages.
Meanwhile, keep your woolly socks on - the cold hasn't finished with us yet!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

December's here

Congratulations all of you who have pledged to keep up the art calendar for twelve months we are nearly there.  So here is my completed November.
 Which looks so much more colourful now it is filled in - and December...
...a blank canvas. Who knows what the next 31 days will bring!
I will say again what great fun I find this to be, and I love looking back and seeing what happened when over the previous months. So helpful when you have a brain like a piece of sequin waste (in-joke there).

Today I should have been having lunch with the 'Nutty Knitters' group which I recently joined. However I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to icy and snowy weather so I sent my apologies. Our hostess lives up a lane about 12 miles away in the Bedfordshire countryside, and although she did e mail to say the road was passable  I am Mrs Cautious these days and full of "what ifs".  So I've been moping about thinking what a wimp I am. However to redeem myself here is my second blog in as many days. 

Firstly here are my attempts at knitting.
No, I am not knitting for a three legged baby with a split personality, they are supposed to be mini Christmas stockings. Even a wash and a hot press hasn't evened up my stitches! Just be grateful I'm not giving you one of these to hang on your tree when I come round! I am much better suited to the other kinds of needles.
Here are the two little journals I have made  covers for, in what I have called distressed patchwork as there are lots of frayed edges.

The embroidery was inspired by the bleached denim marks, I am pleased with the freer designs.

 They come with 4"x6" narrow lined journals.

Below is the last purse I managed to finish before the sewing machine seized up. I am not expecting news before the end of the week at least.

This purse is slightly stiffer than the previous ones and I am offering to add a cord to turn it into a little shoulder bag, for when you don't need to carry anything but you bit of plastic and a few coins.

What do you think? They are now in my Etsy shop.
PS You can view everyones calendar pages here