Friday, 31 January 2014

January - much rain and wetness!

Yes, its been wet, wet, wet!  But at last I have decided on my monthly photo page design for the year.  This time I'm going for double page spreads.  It will mean my I can use rectangles instead of squares for my photos which I think is better for me as I use an ordinary pocket digital camera not a phone.  Of course the double page is not as good for blogging but as always you can right click on the image and open in another tab if you want a closer look.

So here is January - its not been as bad here inland in North Wales as in other areas, although there was damage on the coast 20 miles away.  The worst effects for me were not being able to clear the mess in the garden as its so soggy, and being ankle deep in mud when I go walking in the fields.  But I count myself lucky that those are my only complaints.

I bought my templates from Jennifer Hignite at These Little Wonders.  She has lots of other great designs if you fancy your own review.  I treat mine like a pictorial diary and really enjoy looking back on my months and years.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Embroidery Design of the 1930s

I've a great liking for embroideries of the first half of the 20th century - especially the Art Deco stylised designs of the 1930s.  Some years ago I found a lovely book by Kathleen Mann, Applique Design and Method published in 1937, and recently I picked up two more of her titles.  I'm now really fired up to start on another embroidery project myself. 

I tried an applique felt and embroidered picture a year or so ago - a design I found in a 30s embroidery magazine, and I really enjoyed working it.  I must get round to doing something with it; frame it or make a cushion or something.

Anyway, we managed to grab a last minute bargain break yesterday - next week at Ty Unnos, a (tiny) beautiful traditional Welsh cottage in West Wales (are you jealous!).   Five days and four nights with no telly, no internet, no distractions..... a perfect time to start a new project and perhaps even finish one or two more.   

Looking through photos of the cottage interior I've a feeling there'll be plenty of design inspiration to get me going.  Hope I'll have something to show you when I get back.  And if you happen to fancy a break at Ty Unnos too, its on special offer for the month of February.  I can't wait!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Dydd Hapus Santes Dwynwen/Happy St Dwynwen's Day

Here's a quick card if you've forgotten or want to join in and celebrate Wales' day for lovers.  Dwynwen is the patron saint of sick animals too so that's another reason to celebrate her saints day.

 I die cut some hearts from sugarpaper (just love those muted shades), added a wood effect background stamp, layered them up and stitched to the front of a square card base.  Then I stamped the greeting around the edges with a small alphabet set.

Whilst searching Dwynwen on Pinterest I found this lovely young saint on Charlotte's blog.  I can't resist posting her here and what a fabulous costume she has created.  I just love the little church made from a bird house.  I hope you don't mind Charlotte.

I haven't been able to find the origins of the lovely image of Dwynwen - it looks like an old wall painting or an illumination from an ancient Celtic tome, but it could just as easily be a modern artist's creation.

Saint Dwynwen

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

St Dwynwen's Day

Here in Wales we have our own day for lovers and love on 25th January - this Saturday.  You can read about Dwynwen here.  To celebrate I made these little felt brooches (yes, pompoms again!) and cut and stamped celtic tags to present them on. 

I've some Rowan Kidsilk yarns in my stash - leftovers from Christmas gifts I knitted for the family a few years ago.  Its a very expensive yarn but these tiny pompoms use such tiny amounts you could make many many brooches (or just pompoms) from one ball.  The Celtic circle die is from Tonic Studios and there's a square too.  So pretty - but if you're not of a Celtic race there are other lovely designs such as flowers, stars, butterflies and vines. 

This is a Celtic cross erected in 1903 on Ynys Llanddwyn in memory of Dwynwen.  I've never visited but it could be one of our expeditions this summer as its not far away.  It looks a beautiful  spot.  Anyway, back to the brooches - Welsh language stamps are not common, even in Wales, so I used an alphabet set to stamp the words round the tags.  Cariad is our word for sweetheart or dear and I remember my Nain (grandmother) used it all the time when speaking to us as children. 

Happy St Dwynwen's Day to you all.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Signs of Springing?

OK, I admit it - I'm a Radio 4 listener - I have it on permanently almost 24/7 - and all week there has been talk of early signs of Spring, even though its officially still winter.  In fact listeners were this morning invited to message, tweet or whatever you will signs from their own gardens.  Anyway, unable to join in myself as I was working, I did get up a bit earlier and went to have a look - with my camera.


Admittedly the Jasmine was in flower, there were catkins on my cobnut bushes and there was one rose on my David Austin bush (probably the last rose of last summer not the first of next!)

..... but looking back at previous years' photos, I don't think we are much more forward than usual.  There is sign of blossom bud on the cherry tree at the bottom of the garden but this is always the first of the year to burst forth.

There are still berries on the Ivy - which the birds might yet need as it was March before the big freeze came last year.

However, on my way down the hill to work I spied these daffodils in a neighbour's driveway, much farther forward than those in our garden.  Just shows what an effect altitude has. 

Yet on the radio I hear stories of snowdrops and daffs in flower already and even butterflies in flight (though I'm sure those must be hibernaters waking in a spot of warmth).  Perhaps its all happening 'down south'!

There is one sign of Spring I'm aware of though..... the birds are singing again!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Oops ! Late December

The new year is a week old and I'm thinking about my Project 365/Life or whatever its called for 2014.  And I've just realised I haven't posted my December page.  This is for me rather than anyone else as in 2012 I somehow managed to delete my 12 monthly digital scrapbook pages but thankfully was able to retrieve them from my blog.  Anyway - here is December 2013 and I've been looking around for templates to start my 2014 project.

I've just ordered my 2013 photobook diary from Photobox.  I've been very pleased with everything I've had from them in the past (books, calendars, business cards, etc) so no reason to change I thought.  They aren't the cheapest but often offer great discounts so I'm taking advantage of the current 70% off.  My 2012 and 2013 books are both similar in design - scrapbook page on the right and one large photo on the left.  This style is useful as photobooks usually start with 24 pages.  But I haven't yet decided whether to stay with this or go for something different for the coming year.  Oh well, I've got till the end of January to decide.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

That Pom Pom Thing!

Once that Christmas thing was over a sudden urge to make pompoms came over me - don't ask me why!  But you can't just carry on making pompoms and doing nothing with them so of course I clicked over to Pinterest for some inspiration. I found Bar's star pompoms - so cute - and thought I'd try hearts instead.

Bar has a great photo tutorial but they are very easy.  I used a nice big biscuit cutter and the small pink Clover pompom maker which made these so quick to put together I'd finished five or six in no time.  The pipecleaners are those long craft ones which reached all round the heart cutter but you could twist two ordinary short ones together to make the length.

I also made some big single pompoms with the large blue Clover pompom maker.  I hung them in the twisted willow branches I used as a Christmas tree this year to cheer me up during this dismally dark time of year.  Haven't finished with pompoms yet so watch this space!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year to All!

Hope you are all celebrating right now - here's to a brand new crafty year in 2014!  Just want to thank you all for your friendship, encouragement, comments and inspiration in 2013. 

See you in 2014!


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