Sunday, 25 January 2015

St Dwynwen's Day


Hope everyone is enjoying this sunny Sunday St Dwynwen's Day.  I had these wooden heart shapes left from my Christmas projects and chose some suitable stamps from my stash. The birds and pink heart are from Nordic Spring at Waltzingmouse Stamps and the sentiments in English from Seasons of Love also from Waltzingmouse.  Although the stamps are designed to look like knitted fabric I think they look like medieval tapestries too so are just right for Dwynwen who was a Welsh medieval princess.  The stylised roses are from Papertrey Ink's Rosie Posie set.  And the Welsh "cariad" I stamped with a small wooden alphabet set.  Although I have used a pyrography pen to burn the images on the wooden hearts you could just as easily stamp them in a dark brown ink or some other strong colour.  The pink heart is diecut cardstock - four layers gluesticked together makes a nice substantial hanging heart tag.




Thursday, 22 January 2015

Sparkle, sparkle, glitter, glitter, shine, shine!


More Sparkle and Shine - last Saturday my sister and I had a lovely time playing with glittery of all types at a workshop run by my crafty friend Sarah, alias The Newspaper Lady.  Sarah has recently opened The Coach House, a really perfect little building next to her home as a craft workshop and already has a string of interesting workshops/courses on the calendar.


I don't really know what's come over me as I've never liked shiny and glittery before but I think 2015 is going to be its year at my craft desk! 


Perhaps I've been influenced by the very sparkly sunset we watched from Talacre Beach at the New Year.  It was a beautiful but very cold day and as the sun got lower in the sky absolutely everything started to shine.


And as we were driving away we saw the pink moon rising turning even ugly industrial Deeside and a distant Liverpool into a shining spectacle.



Monday, 19 January 2015

Warm Hearts


Valentine's Day on the horizon and here in Wales its St Dwynwen's Day on 25th January.  Dwynwen is our very own patron saint of love and in recent years has become quite popular - especially with Welsh card makers and crafters. 


I saw this little gift idea on Pinterest and thought I'd make some of these little hand warmers with a sweetheart theme - but of course they would be suitable on any gift-giving occasion during this cold snap.  I gave the red set to my sister to accompany her on early morning doggy walks.  Easy to make but I did alter to eliminate the pinked edges as my fabrics are loosely woven and would fray terribly in someone's pocket.  Stitch around with right sides together (leaving a gap for filling in the middle of one side!) then turn right side out, press and stitch again about a quarter inch from the edge - again leaving a gap for filling.  Fill with rice - I used a small funnel - then stitch the gap and handstitch the two edges left open by the filling gap.


And of course I couldn't resist a spot of pretty packaging.  Glassine bags are easy to find and are just a bit more stylish than cellophane I feel.  A tag and a bit of stamping to finish off.  Quick and easy!


Dwynwen is also the patron saint of sick animals so even if you don't have a luvvy duvvy inclination there's good reason to celebrate her day.  This is Llanddwyn Island (not really an island) where she founded a church and in the Middle Ages pilgrims visited the holy well.  A beautiful spot well worth a visit - especially on a sunny day.

Friday, 16 January 2015

A Wren for Christmas


It gets increasingly hard to think of original Christmas gifts for my sisters, especially as we don't spend more than a fiver or so.  Of course they always expect handmade from me.  I saw the coin pendant idea on Pinterest (where else!) and bought the farthings quite cheaply on ebay for the years my sisters were born.  Luckily we were all born before they stopped minting that sweet little wren in 1956.  I then had the problem of packaging such a small gift and came up with the walnut idea.  I already had some shells I'd sprayed gold for Christmas tree decorations and I just lightly glued the two halves together with the pendant inside.

If you want to copy the idea for someone not as ancient as we are, take a look at the coins from other countries too.  There are some lovely designs - I especially liked the Irish coins.  And of course some of the more recent decimal coinage here in the UK has some most attractive designs on the reverse.  It doesn't matter if the coins are dirty and tarnished - I polished mine with good old Brasso and also gave the surface a thin coat of Ranger's Glossy Accents to keep them shiny.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


I know - you thought I'd left the country!  I've taken a blog break but its a new year and I'm going to try to kick start my posting once again with a bit of SPARKLE. 

I'm not one for layers and embellishments on cards but I saw THIS post on the Wplus9 blog and really fancied trying a bit of watercolouring gems.  Not real watercolouring of course but using Distress Inks - there are loads of tutorials and videos using this technique around at the moment and Dawn at Wplus9 has a few on the blog.  AND I've also been drawn into the sequin craze too - something I would not have imagined just a few weeks ago - but they do look so pretty when you see them in bulk don't they.  I bought three little packets and the Sparkle & Shine stamp set and die at Make the Day Special



Found a use for those cute little Bonne Maman jars I've been hoarding too! :)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Au Naturele!


I ordered these simple plywood shapes with the intention of painting them but when they arrived found they were very pretty already.  They've been laser cut so the edges are burnt a lovely rustic brown and on one side the edges are slightly "distressed".  So I decided to keep them 'au naturale' and have decorated them using just my pyrography pen and a bit of red ink for the robin.  On the hearts I've stamped images in a light colour and then burned over them. 



You might remember I used the same technique last year on cut wooden slices.  I've bought some more this year to sell at my next craft fair on 6th!  Yikes - better get burning!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Dala Horses everywhere!


Where does the time go?  Only a month till Christmas so I think I need to get into present creating mode!  I've always loved the Scandinavian style Christmas and Dala horses are a favourite image at this time of year.  My sister is a horsey person and loves adding to her Christmas decorations each year so I think she will like a set of these felt horses. I used the new papercraft dies from Eline Pellinkhof at Cuddly Buddly.  I simplified the patterned decoration a bit and didn't use all the tiny dies.


And there's more......  I found these wooden shapes on ebay from Wiff of the Woods - perfect for painting.  I used the same dies to cut the decoration pieces and used some of that horrible felt they give away with craft magazine free kits.  I can't make myself throw it away even though I never make any of those kits up.  I knitted a few of the little horse sachets for a recent craft fair and filled them with Christmas spices.  They sold out but I found this one left behind under a chair the other day - absolutely love that spicy scent.  And finally I've stamped some simple cards using a small stamp set also from Eline at Cuddly Buddly.

There's a nice history and video on the making of Dala horses on The Swedish Wooden Horse Company's website.

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