Friday, 30 April 2010

ceramics - first but hopefully not last attempt!

Last night I picked up the pots which I made at a day ceramics course in Burgess Hill in March. I really enjoyed the course but unfortunately my rushing to finish painting the jug shows; the quality of glaze has not come out as i hoped. I am really pleaed with the bowl though. I guess I just have high expectations (especially as i am surrounded by amazing pots but leading potters all day at work!) so I am slightly disatisfied with the results but i guess its not too bad for first attempt - mmmmm I may book my self on the May course to try again!

Paint Pots

Recently Debs and I visited 'Paint Pots' in Brighton. We spent ages deciding what to paint and both eventually picked jam pots. I went for a strawberry theme and debs painted amazing insects (the ladybirds were great!) on her pot.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Bind it All - craft ideas

My  Journals using ' the Bind It All machine by Zutter 

Some of my 'bind it all' creations

Recently I purchased the Zutter Bind it all machine and I think it was a really good investment. The machine seemed pricey but I have been using it lots so was a good buy! So far I have made a range of personalised books including notebooks and small recipe books. Covering the covers in fabric scraps seems to work really well and I have used beads, buttons and cutout letters to decorate them.
The Zutter Bind it All machine is really easy to use once you get the hang of the spacing and concept. The wires are fairly cheap and work out about 60p per book. I like the flexibility of the machine and the way you can use it for such a variety of products.

Button Bracelets

This is my first blog about button jewellery but I am sure it will not be my last. This weekend I made a couple of bracelets using my collection of old buttons and some basic twine and tiger-wire. I finished them using a small charm bracelet style clasp.
I am happy with these bracelets and like the slightly random/haphazard approach to the pattern. Next time i think i'll try just using really small mother of pearl buttons.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Colourful Coathangers

I have been decorating old wooden coathangers for a little while now. It started when i made a special hanger for my weddding dress and then made them for friends weddings and birthdays.
I usually use newspapers, magazines, tissue paper, ribbon, buttons and anything which you can collage well. I then coat the hanger in normal pva glue.

wish list from St Jude's

St Jude's prints has some fantastic prints from established and emerging artists. I frequently visit the website (they also have a gallery in Norfolk) and make a list of what i would if money permitted buy. Don't get me wrong the works for sale are by no means expensive if anything they are very reasonably priced. But nevertheless they are a luxury item and i don't really need more works of art adorning the walls of our fairly small flat. Doesn't stop me looking though.....

The images above are by James Brown and Jon McNaught.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Sophie Conran

I am so pleased we choose Sophie Conran's Portmerion range for our wedding gift list. Its been used for 2 years now and i love it even more now than when we choose it. It has been fun adding to the set and gradually building it up.

I still keep all the china in its boxes and have a ritual of un-wrapping and wrapping when used - it kind of keeps it special and will be handy to have the right boxes when we move!

Bold & Noble


I was given the 'Make do and Mend' print as a Birthday present from my husband's Grandmother last year and love it. I framed it with a Habitat Talon Frame

Love Nigella

I have had bit of a Nigella inspired weekend. I love 'Nigella Express' and have cooked so many of the recipes over the past year. This weekend i made the 'Totally Chocolate Chip Cookies' (snack to keep husband happy) 'Coq Au Riesling' (dinner guests) and 2 x 'Cherry Cheescakes' (dinner party and girls night in). The recipes are really low effort for the great results you get. The Cheesecake and Coq Au Riesling are great dinner party foods as you can prepare them well in advance. I don't really like putting the cherry conserve on the cheesecake so instead i cover with strawberry jam (best quality) and then cover with a berry fruit salad. I have also been known to cover the cheesecake with chocolates. My other favourite recipes in this book are the 'Mellow Meatballs' 'Chocolate Pistachio fudge' and 'Rocky Road'. The recipes in this book are really realistic for busy people with limited skill and basic equipment.

I like the idea of using maps in art works

List of aims....

List of things to make (or complete) this year:
  • Master Knitting - ie. Finish the jumper!
  • Finish the never ending rag rug
  • Weave a new wall hanging
  • Make a picture using old maps
  • Make more handmade books
  • Make something from Cath Kidstons 'Make' book
  • Produce a textile panel that i am pleased with

Things already achieved this year:

  • Ceramics Course (Bowl and Jug) Just waiting to collect after firing
  • Visited Painting pots in Brighton - Brilliant time with Debs painting jam pots - waiting to collect
  • Acquired 'Bind it all' machine and have started making books - great fun
  • Button necklaces