Monday 26 September 2011

Wild Flower Meadow?

In early summer I bought a packet of "Wild Flower Meadow" seeds from our local bargain basement shop. It was late to be sowing annual seeds but I had nothing to lose - well only 50p anyway - so I scattered them in a small patch that was bare apart from a few self-sown daisies and alyssum. 

And now in early Autumn I've a patch filled with Cornflowers, Californian Poppies, Love-in-a-Mist, Pot Marigolds.....
.......a few things I know but can't name, and a couple of plants that are new to me.  Like this lovely blue flower I've been trying to identify on line - it could be Stickseed - a plant from the USA! 
 And with the Californian Poppies too I'm starting to think that's where the seed packet came from!

Its not really what I was expecting a wild flower meadow to look like - but never mind, its very pretty anyway and I'll enjoy watching what appears next year.

I'll collect some of the seeds to scatter again next spring and I'm hoping some will self-seed too...
....but I'm tempted to pick these Love-in-a-Mist seed pods to have in the house!

If the forecast is correct, we're in for an Indian Summer this week so I may even see something new flowering.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Two birth days

 Thought you might like to see my baby gift for Gruffydd Tomos. These two are my versions of Madame Chantilly's CUTE bears. After finishing Blue Bear I thought I must make something for Gruffydd's 4 year old brother too so Brown Rabbit appeared. Simple toys that can take a lot of punishment and I hope will be loved.

My brother in law also had a birthday recently. He loves his cycling and I found this perfect letterpress card for him at Little Red Press on Folksy. I love the look of letterpress but a machine is a BIG investment - and, yes, I know, I'm already spending way too much on papercrafting! So I'll content myself with buying beautiful letterpressing like this - I've already seen the perfect card for my son who has just turned into a biker!
As usual I was rather late putting my gift together as it had to be posted, but Hannah at Little Red Press did me proud and I recieved my card the next day!!  And not only that I found she had included this lovely bookmark too. So I was really pleased with my gift and hope the cyclist was too.

Sunday 18 September 2011

The Fashion Harvest

I'd like to introduce to you a brand new blog created by my talented (and beautiful) niece Faye. If you like fashion, vintage, thrifting and making, you will like this. And if, like me, you are no longer a Dedicated Follower of Fashion, you probably know someone who is. So hop over to The Fashion Harvest and take a look. I'm amazed at how fast Faye has become an expert blogger and she has already picked up a band of Followers - I'm jealous!

Faye is just 16 and has her eyes set on a career in fashion journalism. I think she's already on her way! And looking back at my 16 year old self I can see Faye and I would have had a lot in common. It was 1964 - I'd just started a college course in fashion and textile and spent hours drawing, cutting and stitching clothes using any fabric I could get my hands on. Of course there were no charity (thrift) shops then but we did recycle our clothes. I featured my favourite recycler Capable Kate here last year and many of you seemed to enjoy her then, so I give you three more pages from her notebook today.

Ahhh, those were the days! I loved the drawings of Moira Macgregor - the creator of Capable Kate in Honey magazine, and based my own drawing style on hers. I devoured all the teenage fashion magazines of the time - Honey, 19, Petticoat - and idolised the new designers, Mary Quant, Ossie Clarke, Barbara Hulanicki at Biba, Foale & Tuffin and others. And of course we all wanted to be Twiggy or Patti Boyd or any of the other iconic magazine models of the day.

You have no idea how flipping through my small collection of those old magazines takes me back to that time. They say smells are a memory jogger - and of course they are, but every page brings back such a strong memory I can almost believe I'm 16 again and wearing my op-art black and white dress!!!!! Yes, I'm afraid only half of me was caught in this photo - but I quite like it that way.....

I'm having blogger issues today and have reverted back to the old interface as I've lost this post three times! Shame - the new version has some excellent features.

Saturday 17 September 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

.......if you were to look into the crafty spaces of all us makers anyway! At this time of year I start dreaming up plans for my Christmas gift making and it always sounds perfectly possible.... but no matter how organised I think I am, its always Christmas week before I realise it and late nights are required! I have made a few more Christmas List note pads for my next craft fair as they seemed to go down well at the last one.

I managed to get to a car boot sale last Sunday and found some lovely Christmas sheet music for only 30p each! I know White Christmas is the number one classic Christmas musical, and I do love it, but my very favourite is Holiday Inn. I have it on VHS and have watched it literally dozens of times over the years. Who doesn't love Fred's dancing, Bing's crooning and all those glamorous 40's Hollywood dresses and film sets...... I think I'll watch it again tonight!
I also found this 1950s biscuit tin at the boot sale. Perfect for storing Christmas cards until I'm ready to post them. Its in lovely condition - no rusty bits. I made the peg dolls you can see in the photo years ago for work colleagues - I seem to remember I was inspired by photos I'd seen in Country Living magazines. They were easy to copy using dolly pegs bought at our local ironmongers and bits and pieces I already had in my crafty stash. Click on the photo to enlarge and you'll find it easy to create your own versions - which I'd love to see.

Friday 16 September 2011

Save for Baby

I don't often get the chance to make baby cards and gifts, so I was very happy to make a card for new baby Gruffydd Tomos, born this week to two good friends of my son. Gift making is in progress too. Note: Croeso is Welcome in Welsh.

A good chance too to show you this sweet money box I found in a charity shop some time this summer. I feel its from the 1950s and although it is quite crudely hand painted, I love it as a relic of frugal times gone by. "Save for Baby" is painted on the baby's back alongside the money slot.

Stamps: Papertrey Baby Button Bits and Love Lives Here

Friday 9 September 2011

Make-it-Monday Papertrey Challenge

I haven't done a Make-it-Monday challenge before but this week's technique was something I love doing - make a background from a non-background stamp. I do this all the time - there are so many Papertrey stamps that lend themselves to making backgrounds. Here's one I haven't tried before. I've also used an excellent technique I saw Jess Larsen demonstrating - she calls it Reverse Stamping. I've often wished a stamp had a mirror image and Jess shows how you can make one. Isn't it brilliantly clever!

Looking at the card now I realise I should have started stamping the background in the middle and not on the left hand side to make it more symmetrical looking - I'll remember that next time.

Stamps: PTI - Beyond Basic Borders, Warm Happiness
Other: Tag Sale 2 die

Monday 5 September 2011

Sunsets and Naked Ladies

Did my post title catch your eye! There was a beautiful sunset here tonight - the room was suddenly filled by this wonderful pink light so I ran up to the attic with my camera to capture it. I've dozens of sunset pictures but only a few sun rises.... I wonder why :o)

And I found the first Autumn Crocus (Colchicums) flowers in the garden this weekend - they are also known as Naked Ladies as they appear out of the earth without their leaves - which come in the spring and then die down before the flower emerges.  The bulbs will also flower on a windowsill - without any soil. Just place in a saucer with a little water. When the flower fades you can plant the bulb in the garden and enjoy them again and again.

Please remember that the bulbs and flowers are poisonous - keep away from children and pets.

Friday 2 September 2011

Two birthday cards

Since I became addicted to clear polymer stamps I don't often buy wood mounted red rubber stamps but when I saw Peppermint Polly on a number of crafty blogs I just had to have her. I used her for the first time today to make a birthday card for a niece who is 16 next week. I like to make simple single layer cards and stamped Polly directly onto my kraft card base. I stamped her again on a scrap of pink card, then stamped, cut out and paper pieced her dress. I used my Copic markers to colour the rest of the image and I've found that colouring with a watercolour pencil in a similar colour before using the marker stops ink seeping through to the back of the cardstock - something you don't want to happen on a single layer card.

My second card is for my sister whose birthday is tomorrow. Papertrey Ink held a promotional event in July where everyone who made a $100 purchase received a free stamp set. I couldn't justify the expense of making a mid-month order but did love the free stamp set. I was really pleased therefore to find some sets for sale a little later and was lucky enough to win one on ebay. It was this jug image that I really wanted as it is so reminiscent of blue and white jugs I remember displayed on Welsh dressers and sideboards in various family homes over 50 years ago. I stamped a pattern on my jug to make it look more like those remembered jugs, masking where necessary and adding a bit of shading with a Copic marker. I stamped the card base with another image from the set to create a tone-on-tone background.

Make a Wish card: Penny Black - Peppermint Polly; Papertrey Ink - Love Lives Here, Think Big Favorites #1, Green Thumb
Blue Jug card: Papertrey Ink - Iconic Images, Botanical Silhouettes (sentiment)
All inks Tim Holtz Distress Ink

Thursday 1 September 2011


This pretty children's book illustration is from a small picture book titled Children Month by Month, published by Birn Bros Ltd in, I would think, the 1940s or early 50s.  Its perfect for posting this first day of September, which has been absolutely glorious here in the UK. Perfect because there is so much fruit on the apple trees this year the branches are bowed down with the weight and I'm wishing I had a little apple store shed like this in which to keep them. I'll be trying to keep as many as I can to use over the Autumn and Winter but I expect the garden wildlife will be feasting on windfalls over the next few months. So I never fret that they are going to waste because they won't be.

The other months in this book are just as charmingly illustrated and I thought I'd try to post one each first day of the month if I can remember. They'd make a lovely nostalgic calendar.

It seems Blogger has had a bit of a makeover and I'm trying to get to grips with it here - it looks like we can post LARGE photos now. And there's a preview screen - which is a big improvement too.


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