Wednesday 25 April 2007

Why didn't anybody warn me?

OK, why didn't anybody warn me that starting a blog is dangerous? I've been tagged already! Hmmm, thanks Sheila (maybe!)

So, the rules are: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to blog about their 7 things and post the rules as well. At the end of your blog you need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

Here are my random facts:

  1. I cannot crochet to save my life.
  2. Most luscious takeout ever: sushi and sashimi in lacquerware containers delivered by a man on a moped to a house in Tokyo.
  3. I am a yarn snob ;)
  4. I still have the cuddly rabbit given to me by my Godmother on the day I was born. He sleeps under my pillow.
  5. As a proofreader, I've had to fight hard not to change all those 7s in the rules of this game into sevens (numbers below 10 are words!).
  6. I hate making appointments to get my hair cut. I usually just go in get it done on the spot.
  7. I read a lot. Probably more than is good for me! Current reading: Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.

I'm tagging Gillian, Kathy, Dollydimps, Rainowgirl, Turtlestres, Nickynoo and Rein.

Monday 23 April 2007

Second time felt

Felt two blog posts running, huh? And this is second time for another reason, too.

Thanks to the Daring Cardmaker's current dare (see last post) I found Betz White's lovely blog. Betz does fabulous things with old sweaters and she's provided a great tutorial for making a felt flower. So it's second time around for a couple of sweaters I happend to have felted up for another project I haven't got round to doing yet - I used a little of them to have a go myself:

It's not as lush as Betz's but it's not bad for a first try, I don't think! I think I might stitch a central vein down the leaves if I get chance later on though.

Check out the rest of Betz's site if you get the chance - just how cute are those felt cupcakes?!

Saturday 21 April 2007

Funky or Fuzzy? Does it depend on age?!

Firstly, many thanks to everyone who has visited my infant blog and left me nice comments - it's much appreciated.

This week's DCM dare is set by Gillian and she's challenged us all to make a card featuring felt. To me, felt has a very homely quality so I've gone for a homespun look...

The scrap of gingham fabric is mounted on red laid paper and the felt squares are blanket stitched on with embroidery thread. I made the folk heart 'buttons' by punching the shapes out of wood veneer and making holes with an eyelet punch. A piece of stitched grosgrain ribbon and a smaller wood veneer heart finish it off.

Great dare Gillian - thanks!

P.S. - playing with Fuzzy Felt sets was very popular when I was a kid, hence the title of this post. It's still available and their web site has a fascinating bit about the history behind the idea.

Friday 20 April 2007

Mum's birthday

It was my mum's birthday yesterday and of course, I just couldn't make a card I liked. I toyed with lots of designs based around the word Mum but nothing came out right. In the end, I settled for something fairly 'vanilla'!

Layers of torn tissue paper with a bit of chalk ink added to the narrowest one for some extra definition, Gillian-inspired machine stitching, a big daisy and a stamped greeting (from the Woodware tiny greetings acrylic stamp set). Mum seemed to like it! (and was especially taken with the stitching - thanks Gillian!).

The daisy is my own design, cut on the CraftRobo. I've curved the petals over a pencil to give them a bit of dimension. If you have a cutter that will cut gsd files, you can grab the template for this one from the Scrapstars site (this thread) if you want it.

Monday 16 April 2007

Crossing Continents!

The Daring Cardmakers dare is set by Saffa this week. She's challenged us all to make a card to celebrate a festival from a culture other than our own.

I grew up in an area that was about as mono-cultural as it's possible to get but we had a headmaster at junior school who definitely passed for progressive back in that day and age! I've had a soft spot for the festival of Diwali ever since he cast me as the Storyteller for the morning assembly where we learned about the fesitval of light (hey - I was cast as Jesus too but that's another story!).

So, despite the fact several darers have already made some fabulous Diwali cards, here's my take on it

I wanted to use light as part of the card itself so I've cut the word LIGHT out of white textured card and put silver refelctive card behind the word. I layered white card onto silver for the strip at the side and made flowers out of drop-shaped gems (they came in a Secret Santa package - thanks Santa!) with tiny pink gems as centres for a bit of colour. I used a clear glaze pen to write Celebrate directly onto the card and finished off with a twinkly star. An absolute pain to photograph but hopefully you get the idea!

I had a go at something for a completely different occasion before this one but I wasn't that happy with it so I'm still deciding whether to pop it on here or not!

Thursday 12 April 2007

Feathers and patterned pp?

I don't do patterned paper. It just doesn't look right for me. Love it on other people's work but I'm gradually learning not to buy the stuff because I just can't make it look right.

So over on Crafts by Carolyn the current Create a Card challenge is certainly challenging for me. It's a recipe:

0 big blooms
1 feather
2 brads
3 gems
4 patterned papers

Eek! Four papers?!

After shuffling stuff around for an eternity, I finally used an idea that the lovely Lythan posted as a Valentine's class at Scrapstars.

I punched squares from papers that came in a 'baby' sort of pad and made them into a patchwork heart so my penchant for a plain background went unchallenged. The feather got split down the middle so the heart could take flight and I faked some stiching round the edge with a map pin and a gel pen because it didn't look quite finished somehow.

Still not quite sure about it!

Tuesday 10 April 2007

Art Attack!

I finally surrendered to the onslaught of the blogs but that's not the reason for the Art Attack title for my first ever entry.

Rhi over at Daring Cardmakers set a challenge this week to make a card inspired by a piece of art. Great challenge Rhi, thanks!

I toyed with a few ideas and finally settled on inspiration from Antony Gormley (sculptor of the Angel of the North, my screen-namesake). I saw Domain Field at the Baltic a few years ago and loved it. I visited three times and what I loved about each visit was the difference the light made to the exhibition. So I wanted to play a bit with that idea.

Here's a glimpse of Gormley's work (photo from the Baltic website):

Almost 300 volunteers posed for him - a full body plaster cast made a mould for each figure and then a team of welders 'filled in' with square section steel bars. Visitors to the exhibition could wander around within the space.

I took the basic construction method as inspiration, using matchsticks coloured with silver acrylic paint since my welding's not up to much! I found the exhibition provoked a really strong emotional response so I've used a strong emotional word for the card:

I've made a stand at the RHS of the card so that there's no back to it and you can see straight through (so you're looking at my wall there, not a stripe on the card!). If the light is strong enough, it throws a shadow image onto the surface behind, too.

Thanks for the dare - I had fun with this one!